Live from New York, it's... different actor to play Obama
September 13th, 2012
04:21 PM ET
2 years ago

Live from New York, it's... different actor to play Obama

(CNN) - The role of President Barack Obama will be played by a different actor this season on the comedy program "Saturday Night Live," the show's head writer said Thursday.

In an interview on NBC's "Today Show," writer Seth Meyers acknowledged that Jay Pharoah, who is in his third year on the program, would be playing the president, while the actor who has played Obama since 2008, Fred Armisen, will continue on the show.

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Meyers declined to name who would play the role of GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who did not have a regular profile on the show prior to his joining the Republican ticket this summer.

Jason Sudeikis, the actor who has played both Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Vice President Joe Biden, is returning to "SNL" this year, Meyers acknowledged, saying it would be "a bad thing if the two of them ever had to debate each other" on the comedy show.

The show opens its 38th season on Saturday.

Meyers also said in the interview that the show team is looking forward to the series of high-profile debates between the nation's top candidates, which begin in October.

"We'll be very excited when the debates happen," he said. "It's very nice when there's something the entire country is paying attention to."

He also wished the show was running episodes, rather than on a summer hiatus, during the political conventions, which wrapped up earlier this month.

"By Saturday, I don't know what from the conventions people will still remember," he said, adding any convention references would have to be "broad strokes as opposed to about the minutiae"

One of the most mockable moments, he suggested was "when a renowned actor and director talks to an empty chair." Actor Clint Eastwood preceded Mitt Romney's introducer and acceptance address at the Republican National Convention with a speech some characterized as rambling, and which Eastwood acknowledged was inspired only shortly before he stepped onstage.

Will any shows in the eight weeks remaining before the election feature a cameo from one of the presidential candidates himself? Meyers didn't say, but did offer a spot on stage to any of the candidates.

"We would take all of the candidates, every one," he said. "Even, like, lower level comptroller, on a local level."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New York • President Obama
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I hope they bring back Cheri Oteri to play Mittens.

    September 13, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    No one will ever be able to play Willard unless of course, they bring in the dead.

    September 13, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    This is such a good time for comedians.
    Pinocchio wouldn't be able to play the wooden one except that the nose is probably being led by a crane at this point.

    September 13, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Say_NO_to_four_more_years

    I thought we elected a "Commander n Chief", not an "Entertainer n Chief ".

    We need a Real President, not an impostor.

    Say no to 4 more years.

    September 13, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. The REAL Truth...

    @Say_NO_to_four_more_years – We need a Real President, not an impostor.
    ----------------------------–
    Don't fret dear.. we have one, and it ain't Mitt the Twit. The pretender... ain't even good enough to be called an impostor!

    September 13, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Say No – We have a president who has kept us safe for 4 years, has overseen the creation of 4 over million jobs, ended the unnecessary war in Iraq, and is working for all Americans, even right wingnuts. The entertainer is the failed governor of MA who lies like a rug.

    September 13, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. kayla

    say yes to four more years, and no to the stiff

    September 13, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. Obama 2012!!!

    Is Michelle coming on Saturday night live? Why is her picture posted?

    September 13, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. myviewis

    "One of the most mockable moments" = Russian ships to salute our U.S. Veterans, you can't top this one.

    September 13, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. myviewis

    Wire Palladin, S. F.
    We have a president who has kept us safe for 4 years
    -------------------

    Our Ambassador and 3 others are DEAD

    September 13, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Dan B

    Obama is an actor. He's been acting like the president for 4 years now

    September 13, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    myview – Over 3000 Americans were killed on 9-11, over 4000 American troops killed in an unnecessary war in Iraq, as well as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed. It appears that the middle east is still volatile. On the other hand, if a mob of right wingnuts attacked and killed Saudis in America at their embassy, would it be the Saudi government's fault.

    September 13, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans are still domestic terrorists, led by Fox foreign owned media, the Kochs, Rove, and Rush.

    September 13, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. myviewis

    Wire Palladin, S. F.

    myview – Over 3000 Americans were killed on 9-11, over 4000 American troops killed in an unnecessary war in Iraq, as well as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed. It appears that the middle east is still volatile.
    -------------------------

    And Obama does not attend intel meetings........ "It appears that the middle east is still volatile". And Obama made deep cuts to the Defense Budget.

    September 13, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Woman In California

    myviewis

    "One of the most mockable moments" = Russian ships to salute our U.S. Veterans, you can't top this one.

    --
    "One of the most mockable moments" = Willard Romney (Candidate for POTUS), making no mention of our military serving in Afghanistan. Yet, he wants your vote and command of the people he forgot.

    It's no wonder you support him – you are just as feeble minded and incapable as he is.

    September 13, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    "Republicans are still domestic terrorists, led by Fox foreign owned media, the Kochs, Rove, and Rush."

    So true. Sickening isn't it?

    September 13, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. kayla

    the stiff should send his girly boys to war.

    September 13, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    myview – We spend more on defense, than the next 17 countries combined. Why?

    September 13, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am not sure that 'myview' is factually correct when reporting Fox foreign owned media talking points.

    September 13, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. batjones

    SNL should have a skit where Jason Sudeikis plays both Mitt Romney and Joe Biden to highlight Mitt Romney flip-flopping and Joe Biden making gaffs – I am Mitt – Now I am Joe – Now I am Mitt again. – I am Goverdent Mitt Biden

    September 13, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. myviewis

    Wire Palladin, S. F.

    myview – We spend more on defense, than the next 17 countries combined. Why?
    -------------------------

    Yeah, that's why we always have to rescue them and you have been to those countries to see how tiny they are, right??? I do come from Europe and they are tiny countries.

    September 13, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. myviewis

    Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am not sure that 'myview' is factually correct when reporting Fox foreign owned media talking points.
    -------------------------

    This coming from a person who has never even left the town they live in.

    September 13, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. myviewis

    Woman In California

    myviewis

    "One of the most mockable moments" = Russian ships to salute our U.S. Veterans, you can't top this one.
    ---------------------–

    Can you imagine what it was like to see photos of Russian ships at the DNC while honoring US Veterans?????? Didn't any Democrat bother to check???? Lazy as usual

    September 13, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    myview – I always thought you were foreign, hope you don't have to 'self deport. At any rate, welcome to the United States. Now just turn of Murdoch's media and get a clue.

    September 13, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  25. PJ

    All they need is a life sized cardboard cutout of Mitt, and maybe a Romney bobblehead to speak for it.

    September 13, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
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