SNL’s send-up of Al Sharpton omits funniest joke of all
posted at 11:11 am on December 12, 2011 by Howard Portnoy
How seriously awful is Al Sharpton as a news analyst? He is so bad that Saturday Night Live, usually simpatico with liberal causes great and small, devoted nearly four minutes to a parody of the race huckster’s MSNBC show Politics Nation. (Video of the SNL segment is here.)
The bumbling Sharpton is such an easy target that a comedy sketch about him practically writes itself. All you need to do is insert his actual on-air gaffes, which the SNL writers did at the end of the bit, recalling nearly verbatim his now-legendary teleprompter flub: “but resist we much … we must … and we will much … about … that … be committed.”
But the real joke, which the writers either missed or ignored, is that Sharpton leads a double life. He is a self-styled crusader for the 99 percent and downtrodden masses while living like a 1 percenter. According to documents obtained by the New York Post, Sharpton last year “drew a $241,732 salary and perks that included first-class or charter air travel”—this despite his owing the IRS $2.6 million in income tax, and the state of New York nearly $900,000.
And there’s more. His nonprofit National Action Network (NAN), which pays his salary, is $1.6 million in the red, most of the debt stemming from $884,000 in unpaid federal payroll taxes, interest, and penalties. NAN also paid more than $100,000 to settle two lawsuits, byproducts of the unpaid bills. Last year NAN took in more than $3 million in donations.
Two for-profit companies owned by Sharpton also carry unpaid tax debts, the Post reports. The now-defunct Rev-Al Communications Inc. owes the state nearly $176,000, and Bo-Spanky Consulting Inc. is $3,500 behind on state-tax liens.
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