Better Late Than Never

I’ve been decrying Fred Armisen as Barack Obama since he first decided to go blackface to do it. Never mind that he sucked. Or that Maya Rudolph came back to do Michelle and didn’t put on darker makeup. The blackface just added that certain “ew, SNL has just about tanked” feel to the season. So, I stopped watching. No big, since my viewing has been spotty since Phil Hartman (RIP) left. It just doesn’t rise to its former heights, and it probably never will.

The comments in the EW article, will, of course, make you want to slap someone, but hey! Diversity of thought matters, too, right?

At least others are finally speaking out!! h/t to SeeLight.


3 Responses to “Better Late Than Never”

  1. thanks for the shout out, brownstocking, but actually, when armisen first started playing obama, i was on the side of “it’s not EXACTLY blackface.” here’s why.

    now, i think he needs to go because he’s doing such a poor job of it.

    • brownstocking Says:

      Hi, claire:

      I read your original piece, and I agree that many critics who bashed Armisen were simplistic. The Obamas are not above satire or parody. Armisen is multiracial, but I haven’t heard/read of him acknowledging his diasporic heritage, so I’m not sure he gets “it.”

      My POV is that, just don’t do it (the color thing). You can do him as an impression all you want, no matter your ethnicity. Just 1) don’t put on darker makeup (visceral for me, I admit) and 2) DON’T SUCK.

      I’ve watched Armisen do Obama several times, and I’ve been underwhelmed each time.

      It’s late, I don’t know if I’m making sense…but thank you for replying and including the link.

  2. i think we can agree on those things. i thought his first two obama sketches — which were the debate parodies — were good enough. he got the speech pattern and the dead-serious-but-kindly-face. but since then his impression has gotten sketchier and sketchier, and it’s to the point now that any actor could do an equally bad job, so there’s no reason to have armisen do it.

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