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Posts Tagged ‘Saturday Night Live’

Lots of articles and posts to call your attention to this week. Though one friend recommended I post something on the lighter side, I think I’m still trending heavy with these. Forgive me.

  • A couple week’s ago, I posted about Michael Emerson’s UrbanFaith.com article on “The Redistribution Question.” It generated lots of feedback, mostly negative. Many disagreed with Michael’s perspective on the issue regarding what a Christian vision of economic justice might require of us. Last week, blogger Black Wasp presented a passionate defense of sorts of Michael Emerson’s commentary on redistribution. Needless to say, the topic stirred up a lively conversation over there as well.
  • Denise Wilmer Barreto, a Judson College classmate of mine, also posted a provocative commentary last week.  In it, she wonders about the motives of some Christians who advise “we really need to pray” for President Obama. Denise acknowledges that she’s treading on delicate ground, presuming to know the true intent behind what some folks are saying. But I think her willingness to “go there” can help us get one of the current evangelical “elephants in the room” out there “on the table” for discussion. (How’s that for mixing my metaphors? Sorry.) 
  • Did anyone see this article about the Christian high school in Texas that fired its girls basketball coach for allowing his team to run up the score and defeat their opponent 100 to 0? The story raises some interesting questions about competition, sportsmanship, leadership, and character development. I think the reader comments attached to this one are especially fascinating; you can see the “survival of the fittest” mentality in clear opposition to the “mercy and good will” spirit. 
  • Finally, I can’t resist offering one for Just Meee, who, as I said earlier, suggested I lighten up. Back in November, I did a post about the need for a new Barack Obama impersonator on Saturday Night Live. Well, in case you missed it, here’s one of the follow-up skits to the Obama parody that I highlighted by Jordan Peele from FunnyorDie.com. Be sure to watch it carefully for a subtle dig at one of President Obama’s (hopefully former) habits. 

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If you would indulge me for a moment (and hopefully not be too offended), I’d like to take time out from more serious topics to discuss … late-night sketch comedy and political satire.

This piece in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune, which was inspired by this piece from The Daily Beast, once again got me to thinking about the sorry state of Saturday Night Live when it comes to non-white cast members. The emergence of Barack Obama on the political stage has really exposed the show’s weakness on this point. I like Fred Armisen, who currently does Obama on the show, but I haven’t been that impressed with his impersonation. His take on Obama feels flat, without much nuance or irony. It’s as if he’s so busy trying to look like Obama that he doesn’t feel the freedom to dive deeper into the character and make him his own, the way Tina Fey did with Sarah Palin.

Anyway, I’m not one to say the actor portraying Obama has to be an African American, but all of the best Obama impersonations that I’ve seen so far come from black performers. I’ve narrowed it down to two: Jordan Peele (formerly of MadTV) and a mostly unknown performer on YouTube called Alphacat.

I like both of them for their Obama-esque mannerisms and vocal inflections. Also, both performers are good at tweaking Obama on his smart-guy “coolness”—or what may be perceived by some as arrogance. But I can’t decide which actor has the edge. You can check out some of their work below and let me know what you think.

However, I must add this warning: This is not Christian comedy! So if you might feel a bit uncomfortable with crass humor and a dab of profanity (mainly in the Jordan Peele video), please don’t watch. And please forgive me in advance. :-)

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Alphacat’s Obama After the Debate

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Jordan Peele’s Obama Slams Nancy Reagan—Again

I won’t embed this one on the blog, but you can watch it by going here.


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