Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fred Armisen Kills as NY Governor Patterson on SNL

The real governor

Fred Armisen's Obama is getting better with each episode and now he proves his black face comedy isn't just a fluke. As legally-blind governor David Patterson, he killed it on Saturday Night Live last night. Nailing the Gov for his comical unpreparedness and cocaine use, the skit was totally hilarious.

Here is a longer clip where the governor comes back onto the set and fumbles around while Amy Poehler bids SNL and its audience farewell as she does her last Weekend Update.

Update: Not everybody found the skit funny.


Ed said...

It's hysterical. It's even funnier if you live in New York. And for those that don't live here, or just don't get it, then get this: Every once in a while we need to laugh at our stupid, collective selves without the PC police squawking and the entertainment elitists reaching for their censorship pens. Dave Chappelle is a master at it.

Do I make fun of my own shortcomings? You bet, every chance I get. Makes me stronger.

Rock on, people.


Anonymous said...

Yes-- it's quite funny, as long as you have no stake in the victimization.

People with disabilities struggle every day with their own demons-- they certainly don't need to be held up to public ridicule.

Rather than viewing their outrage as indicative of a lack of humor, the people who find this amusing should take a long hard look at themselves to see if perhaps they themselves are lacking in empathy and compassion.

ladarlene said...

"Ed" made my point, probably without realizing it, that many WILL find the SNL Patterson skit short on redeeming social value. "Do I make fun of MY OWN shortcomings?" -- You might, and you can, all because they're yours.

But to consider "make[ing] fun" of an individual's supposed limitations to be OK ignores the point that there is a monkey see-monkey do mentality too prevalent in our society. What appears on SNL on the weekend becomes fodder for Monday morning ridicule around the water cooler.

People with physical or mental difficulties don't need skits like these. If "Ed" needs to laugh, there's plenty of material out there. The blind, however, are not part of our "stupid, collective selves...", on Saturday Night or any other day of the week.

Ed said...

And thank you for underscoring my point, probably without realizing it.

First it is abundantly clear that some will miss the entire point of the sketch. It was not about any vision-impaired individual, or vision-impaired people as a group. The bit was about David Paterson, New York's fumbling new governor who indeed has found himself in a mess, wandering aimlessly, and lost in his new responsibilities.

Granted, the SNL sketch may have been a little too parochial for a general audience, but the message strikes home with any New Yorker. And SNL, by the way, is LIVE FROM NEW YORK.

Armisen was not making fun of the governor’s physical challenge, but used it to speak metaphorically of this accidental governor amid an enormous political challenge with no vision for the future of New York State. The fact that the governor happens to be legally blind makes a wonderfully wry point.

This is called satire. Not hate crime.

Moreover, I find the pronouncement of the vision-impaired community as “victim” to be wholly demeaning, not the Paterson portrayal. Whether you realize it or not, in the rush to protect your own political and cultural sensibilities you have discounted the real sensitivities of the very people you propose to defend.

NEWSFLASH: People with disabilities don’t NEED defending.

In fact they despise it along with the self-serving pity dished out by self-appointed, self-righteous advocates. “Disabled” citizens are not deficient whatsoever in this regard, and probably more self-reliant than most people in the general populous.

The point is this: We ALL have disabilities and deficiencies. And we all get zinged in public and private by our friends now and then for our respective idiosyncrasies. That’s a normal part of normal life. (So is developing a thick skin.) And that’s what the people with disabilities that I know want most. To feel a part, not apart. To be treated (and yes, sometimes teased) like one of the gang. No pulling punches because some self-styled “normal” person has decided that people with disabilities can’t fend for themselves. How insulting.

Please save the victimization label for people that have no voice, such as the children forced to endure genitalia mutilation and those targeted for honor killings.

The only “victims” in the SNL skit are New York State’s taxpayers. Seeing that for what it really is, apparently, takes some real vision.

Max said...

Raymond, that was hilariuos! Too bad people do not have a keen sense of humor.


Washington Cube said...

I study some of Fred Armisen's sketches, like this one, just to discover the power in his body language and pauses. For example, every time he rips into New Jersey, his voice gives emphasis and his body leans forward. When he was talking about someone from upstate New York taking over, and having a "gamey arm," he dangled his arm, but in a mildly flapping way...and gums with tiny teeth, he set his own mouth in a not exaggerated funny way. I've seen him do another blind character (can't remember which one,) where he walks into the camera and it gets me every time. You can see Seth Meyer close to losing it several times during this sketch, and I know Lorne Michael's drills into them not to break character during skits, which Jimmy Fallon was notorious for.

I'm in D.C., and I hope people can find humor in our former crack smoking Mayor ("The bitch set me up,) who is now facing charges of nine years of not paying his taxes. Barry's solution? He just had a kidney transplant.

There's also a Boston comic named Steve Sweeney, and some of the funniest stuff he has done involves Boston or Massachusetts. Saying his next show is at the Dunkin' Donuts in Somerville...I die.

Have you heard Tiffany Haddish talking about Slawson Swap Meet?

Rasheed Thurmond talking about his Uncle Dope in Brooklyn? The truth, told with love, and funny as hell:

Humor comes from the truth.