THE OBENSON REPORT

Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Introducing The New Barack Obama!

Introducing: the man who will play Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live!

So... after about a week of suspense (and I use that word loosely), the producers of Saturday Night Live have finally decided on who will assume the job of caricaturing Barack Obama for this season of SNL, and possibly even longer, especially if Obama becomes the 44th president of these united states. I blogged about this a few days ago, and you can read that entry HERE. His name is Fred Armisen, and incase you're wondering, no he isn't black, so expect to see some controversy from this decision. The lack of black faces on SNL is and has been apparent since inception; and, as I said previously, the job of playing Obama could possibly become quite lucrative for whomever is chosen to portray him, if Obama does indeed become the next president of the United States. We're talking at least 4 years of guaranteed employment for that comic/actor! But, as has already been noted by several media outlets, there've been instances previously when real life black people have been caricatured by white cast members, for example, Darrell Hammond's impression of Jesse Jackson, and Horatio Sanz as Aaron Neville, amongst others. However, we're talking about potentially the next president of the United States, not Jesse Jackson, or Aaron Neville (of course, no disrespect towards those two men); and we're talking about one the longest running, sketch comedy variety shows seen weekly by millions of people. I really think the the producers of the show should have gone out of their way to find a black actor/comic to assume what could be quite a plump role. Or maybe they should make an effort to ensure that there is always more than 1 non-white cast member so that situations like this never have to arise again.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. So, let the shit storm begin!!

2 comments:

  1. theblackactor.com said...
     

    "I really think the the producers of the show should have gone out of their way to find a black actor/comic to assume what could be quite a plump role"

    I couldn't agree with you more.

  2. Anonymous said...
     

    It's bigger than just the performer--they don't even have black writers. (Also, have to stop you on the idea that it could be a great role for the performer. They had 3 Bush performers in 7 years. There is no job security there for an Obama performer regardless of the color).

    This is THE show for satirizing American politics, culture, and showbiz in the States, and they are constantly missing out on black, rural, working poor, urban, and minority experiences in their writing, performing, and music.

    Fred is good as a performer, but his impression is fucking horrible. If he's missing on the nuances of Obama's speech and mannerisms, what's to say he's also not missing out on the humor, criticism, and parody that are ripe in Obama's entire philosophy? (Assuming Obama has a philosophy other than running for Prom King)

    This show is huge on pushing their comedic satire of politician's into the mainstream consciousness and even their politician's minds. They singlehandedly made Bush use the word "strategery" for Christ's sake. With all that, don't you think it's odd they couldn't come up with a single jab at Obama for the first sketch they did? For the betterment of America and Obama's presentation? In that debate alone there was TONS of stuff you could rip on Obama for doing.

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