Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Morning Hangover: Another SNL Controversy and Amy's Goodbye

Well, her return was a surprise and short lived. Amy Poehler, whose last show appeared to be one month ago when the birth of her son took her off the show, confirmed last Saturday this was indeed to be her last SNL. Surprising, since her reappearance the past two weeks, and the info that her NBC sitcom will most likely premiere next fall, sparked hope that she'd make it through the end of this season in my mind. Sadly that is not the case. Her announcement and goodbye was given on "Weekend Update", happily interrupted before she choked up and the tears flowed by Fred Armisend as New York Governor David Patterson, who wandered in from a previous "Update" bit where his blindness caused some funny yet awkward moments. More on that later. I'm sad to see our Amy go, but I look forward to the amazing comedy we're going to enjoy from her for years to come.

There were undoubedly the usual naysayers on this edition of SNL, not finding it funny, but I found the whole show hilarious. It's questionable whether Americans introduced to Laurie as Dr. House understand that sketch comedy is Hugh's specialty having been the second half of the Fry and Laurie comedy team years before.

Since this was the last show of the year, Christmas was in the air, and all sketches were tinged with the holiday spirit. One sketch had a family seated at dinner, yelling with pure annoyance and hatred, constantly telling one fed up family member who constantly stood to leave, "Judith...sit down!" before suddenly breaking into a sing a long of "Silent Night". A wedding sketch with Laurie as an bizarre family friend was chuckle worthy, and reminded me of Hugh's previous character incarnations on "A Bit of Fry and Laurie".

Seeing Maya Rudolph join Amy in "Bronx Beat" with their British butcher as the special guest, marveling at his "intellegent" accent was a great contribution from the old girls of SNL, both on the precipice of other things, doing these characters one last time.

Kanye West, who changed the usual backdrop of the SNL music stage into a Lite Bright electric video game as he bounced around with 80's shades singing into that microphone that distorts your voice like Cher's in "Believe". His performance was much better than I expected. I never expect much.

What I did expect was some backlash from Fred Armisen's portrayal of a bumbling blind Governor Patterson, who of course is not bumbling, but quite bright and aware of his world than this encarnation. As per Newsday, some New Yorkers felt that the sketch went "out of bounds", and perhaps it did. However, Patterson seems to be a man of good humor, and most likely can take such a dig. Yet, others strongly disagreed. The National Federation of the Blind of New York's president Carl Jacobsen stated the portrayal was a "cheap shot reaching for a cheap laugh at the expense of a whole class of people." He has a valid point, and it's a shame that SNL decided to chose Patterson's disability as the crux of the joke. But nothing is out of bounds with the show, seeing that the 2008 elections have placed it back on the map. I won't deny, I laughed the laugh of shame, shaking my head as Fred wandered back in shot, lamenting to myself through shameful giggles..."This is so bad they're doing this..."

Photos Courtesy of NBC Universal Media

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