Spoilers for the Hugh Laurie/Amy Poehler "Saturday Night Live" extravaganza coming up just as soon as I put the finishing touches on my Chanukah letter...
It's funny what happens when you don't get around to watching "SNL" for about a day. Had I watched the thing live, or even Sunday morning, I would have reviewed the episode as a whole: how disappointing it was given the brilliance of Hugh Laurie's first appearance(*), how the Digital Short was the worst ever (yes, even worse than Daiquiri Girl), how I was glad to see one final edition of Really? with Seth and Amy before Amy Poehler left the show for good, etc.
(*) I don't know if Hugh had as big a hand in sketch-writing as he did last time (which gave us brilliant bits like The Queen's Advance Man), but he definitely seemed willing to take a back seat to the cast this time. One of the few memorable moments of the episode, outside of Weekend Update, was seeing master sketch comedian Laurie struggling to keep a straight face as Poehler and Maya Rudolph kept riffing off each other in the final installment of "Bronx Beat."
But that was a whole news cycle ago, and now the only question seems to be whether the Governor Paterson sketch was insensitive to the blind.
And to that, my answer is this: Yes, and...?
It's a comedy show. At times a good comedy show, at times bad, but a comedy show. It makes fun of people for all sorts of reasons, some in good taste, some not. Hell, they've mocked the blind before, whether it was Ray Charles thinking he was hosting the show at Carnegie Hall, or the legendary Stevie Wonder camera commercial.
You could argue that those previous sketches featured actual blind people poking fun at themselves, where this was Fred Armisen playing blind, in the same way he plays black as Barack Obama. But where Armisen's Obama isn't funny because the writers don't know what to do with the character, his Paterson impression was a scream, possibly the funniest thing Armisen has ever done on this show. (Him disrupting Amy's goodbye was the highlight.)
It was absolutely, 100 percent mocking a man's disability (though they took other non-blindness pokes at Paterson), but I could name a half-dozen sketches off the top of my head that were just as vicious in mocking public figures, whether it was Claudine Longet accidentally shooting a bunch of skiiers, Belushi as Liz Taylor eating an entire chicken leg, Linda Tripp having lunch with Monica Lewinsky, Bob Dole on "The Real World" or basically everything they did to and with Sarah Palin this season.
Hell, I'd argue that if "SNL" isn't offending people at least once or twice a season, it isn't doing its job right.
What did everybody else think?