I dvr "Saturday Night Live," but I rarely watch any of it. But we got sucked into this week's show, with Maya Rudolph hosting, and that Maya Angelou imitation cracked me up.
The second link goes to the whole show, which includes Rudolph playing Michelle Obama in a "Cosby Show" spoof in which Fred Amisen has to play a merged Barack/Cosby character. Rudolph also plays Beyonce (with her new baby) in a scene that I didn't watch but heard Meade laughing at, and there was a very noisy segment called "What's Up With That?" about an incredibly irritating TV show. The real Bill O'Reilly appeared as himself in that sketch, and Meade seemed to find it hilarious, as I — 10 feet away from the TV — was trying to get through some work that I'd been putting off all weekend.
What made the show so funny? Has "SNL" gotten good again for some reason? Is Maya Rudolph a genius? Was it race? I see Ace of Spades is saying:
SNL Does Oddly Racial Episode for Black History MonthIsn't this the problem that drove Dave Chapelle crazy? I know Ace is trying to turn the tables on liberals. I think part of what's going on is that if there's a subject that you're not supposed to laugh about, when someone steps up and cracks jokes about it, it's especially funny. And part of why it worked is, I think, that there were some really great black actors playing, not racial stereotypes, but specific black individuals: Beyonce, Prince, Maya Angelou, Cornel West, Morgan Freeman, Michelle Obama. Specificity, not stereotypes.
One sketch knocks the hypocrisy of sportscasters for making jokes about Jeremy Lin's race while getting all pissy about similar jokes aimed at blacks, and another sketch asks what it would take for Obama to lose the black vote.
Plus goofing on Maya Angelou.
Regarding that first sketch: I agree on the hypocrisy but I think the solution here is for everyone to lighten up, not for everyone to submit further to PC.
Saturday Night Live knows well that racial jokes are funny -- since they use them themselves a lot. Oh, they don't do it in a mean way, and they often (as here) have some kind of defensible thesis they can point to, but still. If you're using them, you're not really against them.
Meanwhile, and speaking of Jeremy Lin, here's the NYT not-so-subtly accusing the American people of racism for getting so excited this year about Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow, when we haven't gotten comparably excited about a black athlete.