Monday, November 9, 2015

The SNL: Democratic Forum with Rachel Maddow vs. Reality

Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon as Maddow and Clinton
Saturday Night Live will mine any political event or happening for humor, irrespective of political party, this has been true since the beginning. But, quite honestly, the conservative side tends to provide more fodder for laughs, most of the time. And also, quite honestly, comedy more often comes from a liberal perspective. If you don't believe me, rattle off a list of conservative comedians, and see how many fingers you have left when you can't think of any more.

Because of this, I'm not used to SNL skewering the left as much as I am the right, particularly when they're taking pains to attract a right wing audience, as they surely were with Donald Trump's appearance. So, I'll plead guilty for having my armor up for this sketch, lampooning the Rachel Maddow "first in the South" Democratic forum from Friday night.

I watched the real forum, and found it to be very, very good. It gave Martin O'Malley his biggest chance to date, to introduce himself to America, and he did well. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also did well, and Maddow herself was simply terrific, I thought. I marveled through the whole thing that it was the best event of its type I could recall since. . .well, ever. And I simply couldn't imagine a similar GOP event occurring, either form the perspective of the participants, or the host. [Story continues below]

The SNL version was put together amazingly quickly, and visually hit the mark. Cecily Strong does a great Maddow (and pronounces the name correctly), and all of the candidate impersonations were strong (particularly Larry David as Bernie Sanders). The problem was the humor, both in execution and in theme. Humor has to ring true to be funny. This was like the typical right-wing centered humor that starts with exaggeration (often of a skewed perspective in the first place), and then exaggerates it more. Clinton contorting herself to "appear" comfortable, for instance. I don't know, I thought it was all technically proficient, but not particularly funny. Except for some of the Bernie material, and that's because it rang true. And there you have it.

As for one of the not funny to me (but hilarious to conservatives) joke about MSNBC's ratings*, that doesn't ring true either, after the ratings came out.


2.3 Million Watch Democratic Forum on MSNBC

The joke on Saturday Night Live last night about the MSNBC Democratic Forum went like this: “In case you’re wondering what a forum is it’s a debate no one watches.” But not quite. According to Nielsen overnight ratings, MSNBC was No. 1 in the A25-54 demo averaging 417,000 viewers Friday night. 2.332 million total viewers watched the 2-hour Democratic Forum, giving MSNBC second place from 8-10 p.m. ET behind Fox News which averaged 2.435 million. . .

Read more at: TV Newser

*The ratings for all of cable news are typically very low, with MSNBC garnering roughly a third the ratings of FOX "News." So, when they crow about FOX's ratings, and say "nobody" watches MSNBC, ask them what three times zero is.

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