Awful on its own terms but doubly awful when you compare it to some of the one-liners fired off by amateurs on Twitter after the news broke. (Karl, in fact, nailed the Powerball joke more than 24 hours before this aired.) Even in the show’s diminished state, it’s hard to believe a team of pros couldn’t do better. I can only assume they felt remorse after the media fed The One a crap sandwich over last week’s bit and decided to pull their punches for him this time.
If the writing’s going to be weak then the impersonation has to be superb, which is pretty much the opposite of Armisen these days. There are a million good black comics out there; Lorne Michaels can’t find one who can do a solid Obama impression and make him a featured player? He’s got every incentive: Not only would the political skits sharpen up, but he’d have another option besides Kenan Thompson in his otherwise ultra-white cast for roles requiring a black actor. It took me five minutes of Googling to find the Marlin Hill clip embedded below. Start writing up a contract, Lorne.