Spoilers for the third and final Thursday night, pre-election "Saturday Night Live" thingee coming right up...
Took 'em three tries, but that one was solid just about all the way through. Maybe it was the fact that there was no debate this week and therefore they didn't have to be beholden to a format that hasn't worked much for the show lately, or maybe it was Will Ferrell cameo'ing in the show's best Dubya sketch in a long time, or maybe they just had better ideas this week, but this one was solid virtually all-around. (Outside of the predictable and predictably lame repetition of Keenan's "Fix it!" guy.)
Getting back to President Bush, Seth Meyers was on Bill Simmons' podcast a couple of weeks ago, and he talked about how the show really struggled to do Bush sketches in the wake of 9/11. Ferrell's impression hadn't changed, but people's willingness to laugh at it had. Seven years later, and the president reduced to either an afterthought or someone that both presidential candidates are attempting to run against the memory of, and Ferrell's Bush is funny again. It helped that he was paired with Tina Fey's continually brilliant Sarah Palin -- and that the writers seemed willing to be take a point of view in suggesting that Bush and Palin might be kindred spirits. Regardless of which side you're voting for, political comedy is always better when it has a specific point of view; the reason that last week's debate sketch was so lame, for instance, is that you could tell the writers had nothing to say, other than to keep invoking the name of Joe the Plumber early and often. This one was about something, it had bite, and it was a vast improvement.
Keenan aside, I liked most of the Weekend Update segments, whether it was Fred Armisen making fun of John King's interactive map on CNN, or the recreation of the first cell phone conversation, or, especially, Andy Samberg's "Jam the Vote!" Samberg's stuff always operates on such a strange wavelength that it either strikes you perfectly or it's a complete disaster. For whatever reason, this one clicked, and the moment when Andy asked for some crackers to settle his stomach, only to be handed the spicy hot dog that caused the problems in the first place, made me wheeze with laughter for a good 30 seconds. (It would have been longer, but my wife finally demanded that I press play so we could finish watching.)
Once again, I'm going to ask you to try to be civil here, and apparently I wasn't clear enough the last time, so I'll put it this way: Play nice. Talk about the show -- not the candidates, and not each other. Any comment I find to be the slightest bit questionable -- no matter what your party affiliation -- will be deleted, and if we get more than a few, I'm shutting down comments altogether. Are we clear?
Keeping that in mind, what did everybody else think?