Hillary Clinton's planned spontaneity tour brought her to NBC's Studio 8H this weekend for a widely-reported guest appearance on Saturday Night Live. This sketch provides a few laughs, and lots of cringeworthy awkwardness, particularly during the musical number:
Unsurprisingly, fake Hillary is funnier and more charming than the real deal -- who also seems almost genetically incapable of singing, or even snapping, along with "lean on me." Clinton's self-depricating jokes fall into two categories: I'm perceived as a little uptight, and I should have adopted more liberal issue stances, sooner. Hilarious. Former SNL mainstay Tina Fey wrote in her memoirs that when prominent figures appear on the show to signal that they're 'in on the joke' (she calls these bits "sneaker uppers"), it usually results in unfunny writing: "Comedy writers hate Sneaker Uppers. On a pure writing level, it's just lame. But like other lame things…people seem to love it," Fey writes. And so it came to pass. Vague lameness, endured gamely by talented comic Kate McKinnon -- who's stated publicly that she's "obviously" rooting for Hillary in 2016 -- and marginally improved by a brief cameo from Darrell Hammond as Bill. The whole vibe of the segment, alongside a number of ham-fisted 'Weekend Update' jokes, wasn't subtle:
well, ‘operation help hillary’ is in full swing #snl— andy levy (@andylevy) October 4, 2015
Yeah, pretty much. The Daily Beast's Kevin Fallon describes the episode as "basically a Hillary Clinton campaign ad,' which is difficult to dispute. The inherent comedic lameness of thinly-disguised, barely-amusing political boosterism is self evident, but much like Hillary's televised advertising to date, one suspects it wasn't especially effective. Generating more laughs, as opposed to "clapter," would have required tackling Hillary's obvious weakness: The poll-battering, credibility-draining, national security-compromising email scandal -- about which Mrs. Clinton evidently isn't joking anymore. Recent national surveys show that a majority of voters hold an unfavorable view of the Democratic frontrunner, with an even larger percentage deeming her to be untrustworthy. Perhaps "Val" would fare better, but unless the current trajectory is disrupted, Democrats will be stuck with the real Hillary Clinton.