Sunday, October 26, 2008

SNL Spoofs Michelle and Barack Obama

I chuckled at this Michelle and Barack Obama spoof performed on Saturday Night Live last night because I love the husband/wife team Ashford & Simpson. I saw additional meaning in actors portraying the Obamas singing a hit from that songwriting team because Ashford & Simpson themselves are successful both in business and at home. In the skit, SNL's Obamas sing "Solid as Barack," a twist on Ashford & Simpson's classic "Solid as a Rock."

SNL's drawn viewers before with its Fauxbama, and has taken some criticism because Fred Armisen, the actor who plays SNL's Obama, is not black. Maya Rudolph, the actress who plays Michelle in last night's skit, however, is the daughter of the late Minnie Ripperton and Richard Rudolph.

During the SNL spoof, the Fauxbamas say that they no longer need to aggressively campaign because they're dusting McCain in the polls. So, instead of using their television time to run more political ads, they're presenting "Obama's Variety Show," which features Bill Clinton singing "Don't You Forget About Me," Joe Biden eating his foot, Obama channeling John F. Kennedy, and Nancy Pelosi singing "Our House," the Crosby, Stills, and Nash tune, backed up by Congressmen Barney Frank and Rahm Emmanuel.

You can read the SNL transcript at The Huffington Post as well as the credits for who played whom. HuffPo also has video of SNL's opening skit that pokes Joe Biden and Rep. John Murtha. A C-SPAN announcer says that the two were in Pennsylvania trying to destroy Obama's election. (Here's a link to the Murtha news story behind that script.)

HuffPo readers are not applauding last night's SNL Obama and Dems spoof the way they've cheered for Tina Fey's impersonations of Sarah Palin. One commenter said that last night's skits weren't as intelligent. I disagree and wonder if that commenter didn't get the joke behind the Obama's doing Ashford & Simpson. That old school R&B duo are not only known as fantastic songwriters but also as one of the few long-lasting, great marriages in the entertainment industry. Click here for YouTube video of Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson singing "Solid as a Rock" in the original music video (embedding's disabled).

Also, Clinton wandering around during "Obama's Variety Show" wanting attention was funny. The Biden/Murtha skit opened, and so I guess SNL producers thought it was stronger. I would've gone with the "Obama Variety Show" because the Biden/Murtha spoof fell flat often.

So, while others are throwing a few rotten tomatoes at SNL, I'm not as hard on the actors left behind with Fey unavailable and Amy Poehler out having a baby. It's hard to spoof the Obamas and it's hard for some Obama supporters to swallow jokes at their candidate's expense.

Spoofing Sarah Palin is easy because Palin is a character all by herself and deserves ridicule of her rhetoric. As I said in another post, Fey could speak Palin's real words verbatim and she'd still get laughs.

Here's a YouTube video of Ashford & Simpson being interviewed on CBS's "Sunday Morning" a while back, and it may educate readers who don't recognize the name. I don't know the date of the interview.

Ashford & Simpson have a beautiful marriage, the kind of relationship romantics dream of having. Many people think Michelle and Barack Obama have that same kind of love.

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