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

    After Willards bumbling on the foreign affairs issues he wont be on SNL as president only as the big looser he is. 3 more republicans voting Obama.

    September 13, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. No Thanks

    Don't forget thursday night football.

    September 13, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. Russ in Md.

    "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."

    I'm sure you ment a president that continued the policies of the previuos administration.

    September 13, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  4. Fed Up

    Jay Pharoah is very very funny. SNL will be great for the next 8 weeks. Will Bill Haber be Eastwood?

    September 13, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. dave

    Who cares....

    September 13, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. dontbow

    The new guy to play him will need big ears and no brains. not hard for SNL to fill wih their liberal staff.

    September 13, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |

    Romney is the biggest horses behind on the planet. He's a joke and even some in the Rethuglican party couldn't believe his statements. thanks for the gift, you loser. Obama 2012!!!!

    September 13, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. California Gary

    I can't wait to see the coming bit with Clint talking to the chair.......that should be "priceless". The SNL crew has so much to work with right now.......they must feel they have died and gone to comedy heaven.

    September 13, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  9. Allen Morehouse

    Mitt Romney is a smart guy. He has a new foreign policy advisor – Sarah Palin
    Duh Duh Duh Duh.

    September 13, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. Rocket

    Is is too much to ask for a picture of the new guy?

    September 13, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  11. Whome

    Is SNL still on and does anyone with an IQ above 69 or not burned out on drugs watch it?

    September 13, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. Something Wrong Here

    The Obama's have no time for this presidential gig thingy with all these important Hollywood and Campaign engagements………Four more years …..yea……..

    September 13, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. Ramon F. Herrera

    "impostor", "Muslim", etc. are code words for Black. The least you baggers could do is show some HONESTY.

    September 13, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  14. SNL

    It's all fun and games until all hell breaks loose and our community activist has no clue what to do about our "enemies?" or are they "allies"? Good grief! We are screwed if he spends another DAY in office.

    September 13, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  15. SNL

    @wire paladin – "Safe" are you kidding? He doesn't know who our allies are and who our enemies are! OMG, no wonder he snubs Israel and Poland and cozies up to Russia. Come on you crazy Obamabots...PLEASE come to your senses. This guy is far worse than Carter.

    September 13, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  16. snl has been lame for they shill for obama...

    nuff said

    September 13, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  17. Pander Bear

    Loserview – "And Obama does not attend intel meetings"

    That's another lie from the right wing. You have nothing to offer. So why do you keep posting?

    September 13, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  18. Ed1

    Obama should play himself he is after all playing the role of President of the United States.

    September 13, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  19. Bill

    Politics aside, Jay Pharoah is one of the more talented members of SNL. From his dead-on impressions of Denzel, Eddie Murphy, and Will Smith, there is no doubt he'll do a good Obama. I like Fred Armisen but he just never nailed Obama the way Will Ferrell did Bush or Darryl Hammond did Clinton. I think Pharoah could join those ranks with his talent.

    September 13, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  20. the truth is

    I Wish Faux News Would Restart Their Blog. Then We Would't Have To Read The Brainwashed Unintelligent Verbal Vomit That My View Is And Others Spit Out Here.

    September 14, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  21. SS

    It's about time. Jay Pharoah does an awesome impression of him.

    September 14, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  22. Steve

    Bring back Jon Lovitz as Tommy Flanagan as Paul Ryan. Yeah, that's (literally) the ticket.

    September 14, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  23. Disgusted

    "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."

    No worries, Seth. Set up a card table and 4 empty chairs. Bill Hader, as Clint Eastwood, plays the moderator of a joint President/ Vice President debate.

    I'm ready to join the SNL writing staff at any time.

    September 14, 2012 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  24. barry

    Hope and change didn't pan out. Time to move on and give somebody else a chance. President Obama is a likeable guy and he tried. He just wasn't successful.

    September 14, 2012 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  25. Jerry

    Oh well... If the Obamalooneys are kicked out of the White House in November, they have have second careers they can depend on. They already performed lousy on the economy, jobs, etc., etc., etc. Now they will just become lousy performers after the election. Go figure! Oh well...

    September 14, 2012 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
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