SNL Opens With Hillary Skit

What did you think? Actors playing Hillary and Bill discuss their tax returns and making money and whether Hillary will step aside.

"So, at this point I think it would be in the best interest of the party if I stepped aside for the Obama campaign. That's not going to happen. I am not jumping out of this until after the inauguration. Even then I won't be gracious."

It wasn't particularly funny or memorable. Host Christopher Walken's opening was much better and funnier, although it had nothing to do with politics. He is such a good actor.

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    Kinda wooden (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by herb the verb on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:01:02 AM EST
    It split the baby.

    Heavy on the "Clenis" angle, but also on the "Stoopid Media" faux tax outrage, then half-heartedly hit on Hillary "not ready to play nice".

    My question: "What, no "The Continental" skit? Now I am going to vote for McCain!!!! (I keed, I keed!).

    Well, I thought it was funny! You (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Joan in VA on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:04:22 AM EST
    forget to put in the "psych!" before "that's not going to happen".
    I love Daryl Hammond's Bill.

    Hillary-arious (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 09:18:07 AM EST
    Comedy has to have a (1) set-up and a (2) hook before delivering a (3) punchline that warrants a laugh.

    I thought SNL delivered on parts 1 and 2 extremely well while making the point that if the press would only read it's own newspapers and watch it's own programs (or bothered to check the demographics of Westchester), they'd have known the Clintons were rich.

    This punchline delivered -- not just laughter -- but cheers with the applause. It doesn't get better than that.

    Look, the Clintons allowed Obama to hang himself out to dry by whining about the Clinton tax returns, in an effort to tarnish her and bring her campaign down.

    He failed. Yet no one in the media noted that.

    The Clintons showed they are richer than Obama, more generous than Obama, and paid a higher tax rate than Obama, with the majority of money made on books sales.

    How many books has Obama written? And how little did he give to charity?

    You must be willing to read between the lines and laugh at that.

    SNL wisely punned the Clintons KO'd the press, checkmated Obama, and then laughed at themselves all the way to the bank.



    Also, it was making fun of all (none / 0) (#8)
    by Joan in VA on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:08:33 AM EST
    the commotion about her tax returns because they were so "concerned" about her lending 5M to her campaign. Like they didn't know she has expensive homes and authors make lotsa dough. I thought it was spot on.

    I couldn't make out the word (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:15:31 AM EST
    It sounded like "sike" and I didn't understand so I left it out. I was typing from the rewind on my tv. Thanks for clearing that up. What's it mean?

    I just said that to psych you out is (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Joan in VA on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:18:51 AM EST
    what it means. Like I said the opposite of what I meant to confuse you.

    it means... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by americanincanada on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:20:00 AM EST
    NOT! Or AS IF!

    it sounded like "sike" because (none / 0) (#24)
    by cpinva on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 06:12:28 AM EST
    that's how "psych" is pronounced, and you spelled it phonetically (thank you franciscan sisters!).

    I laughed at the skit (none / 0) (#45)
    by myiq2xu on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 09:41:35 AM EST
    You can't analyze humor, it either makes you laugh or it doesn't.

    I am a long-time Clinton fan, but I can laugh at jokes making fun of them.  I thought Amy kinda blew the "Psych!" line though.  Her timing was off, but that's live television.

    I remember Stephen Colbert at the Correspondents Dinner.  It was hilarious, but they press didn't think so.  The OFB's didn't like the SNL skits about Obama either.

    Some people have no sense of humor.


    I loved the Obama skit where he called Hillary at (none / 0) (#49)
    by RickTaylor on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 10:06:51 AM EST
    3am, and I like him just fine as a candidate. It's sort of a Rorschach test though. When I saw that, for me it was parodying the attacks on his fitness for office, more than the candidate himself.

    I don't have a tv and don't see these things until they come to youtube, so I haven't seen last night's skit yet.


    Can't watch SNL on YouTube (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Grey on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 10:09:48 AM EST
    But you can watch most of the SNL skits on NBC.com, where they are uploaded after the show airs.

    Here is last night's cold opening.


    Thanks for (none / 0) (#51)
    by bjorn on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 10:18:43 AM EST
    posting the link.  It cracked me up!

    Hammond's Bill (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by americanincanada on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:08:10 AM EST
    is awesome and I do love Amy. it's funny because she does such a sharp and funny Hillary but also respects her so much.

    Maybe it fell a little flat (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:39:56 AM EST
    because we're all so over the pathetic and disappointing media, which - as the skit pointed out - totally ignored their own reporting over the years about the Clintons' book deals and speaking fees and assumed the indignant attitude of the Obama campaign over the whole issue of the tax returns.  Honestly, I would really like to ask Andrea Mitchell why it is that in her reports, the Obama campaign always "states" and "says," but when she's reporting about the Clinton campaign, she uses the much more negative "claims;" something tells me she would shrug it off as "just words."

    And maybe we're disappointed that despite what has become a weekly skewering by SNL, the media still fail to get that they are the butt of the jokes - and remain totally irony-proof.  Nothing's changed.

    I was encouraged by the loud applause and whoops and cheers when "Hillary" said she was staying in it - NY loves her, which cheers me.

    And I do love Darrell Hammond - he is truly gifted at impressions.

    We in NY do love her (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by RTwilight on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 01:10:46 AM EST
    the subtle but effective earmarks that she has sent our way, along with additions to bills that help forgoten but important parts of our state economy (such as dairy farming), have helped immensely to assuage the bleeding caused by being the state with the highest income, buisseness, property and cigerette taxes, along with the highest deficet...I was one of her doubters when she ran in 2000...man am I glad she proved me wrong

    Are you in the upstate area? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by nycstray on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 01:31:42 AM EST
    I rely on our small farms for about 80% of my food. if not more, lol! Ronnybrook has the best dairy products, imo. I use their creamline to make my yogurt :)

    I wasn't 100% on the bandwagon when they first came here, but happily voted for her a second time and in the primary. Here's hoping we get that 4th vote!!


    Western NY (none / 0) (#37)
    by RTwilight on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 08:28:51 AM EST
    one of the last bastions of the family farm.
    We have a ton of dairy farms up here, and when the fda screwed up on dairy pricing and almost tanked them, Hillary was the one, along with our other senator, who pushed to help them...the governor and state legislature just shrugged and turned their backs

    Gre up in (none / 0) (#60)
    by nemo52 on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 01:49:43 PM EST
    Western NY, and I now live upstate.  The dairy bill is just one of the reasons Hillary is beloved in this state!  She won over a lot of people who opposed her, including Republicans.

    dairy pricing (none / 0) (#62)
    by diogenes on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 06:28:03 PM EST
    So Hillary is good at giving pork to NY dairy farmers and keeping milk prices up (at the expense of consumers).  The people who pay for this are taxpayers and consumers, although she gets the credit.  As a senator she can steal from Peter to pay Paul; as President she would be responsible for the whole country.

    Dairy farmers were tanking (none / 0) (#63)
    by RTwilight on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 10:08:55 PM EST
    because the fda set the prices lower than the cost of making the milk...if you owned a buisiness and the gov told you that you had to sell your products for less than cost, would you consider that fair? Especially if the gov then ignored your complaints for a year, as the fda did? Would you not expect your gov to fix the problem after they admitted that they f'd up?

    That is all that bill did...fixed things for those farms that were not already bankrupt...luckily in my area we had alot of local help for our farmers...of course, she could have just let them all tank and get bought up by one of the agribuisiness giants...we know they don't look to profit first, do they?


    My favorite part (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by rooge04 on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 01:05:46 AM EST
    was when Amy said: "Yes, why would we want someone who made $109 million telling people taht can't seem to make any money what they should do." Loved it. It's who she is. Everyone knows she'd turn the economy around.

    Victoria Woodhull (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by bernarda on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 05:20:15 AM EST
    The attacks on Hillary Clinton remind me of the attacks on the first woman to run for president, Victoria Woodhull, back in 1870.

    "Instead of debating Victoria on the issues, her opponents attacked her personally. They called her everything from a witch to a prostitute."


    Of course, Clinton is even far less radical than Woodhull, who for one thing advocated free love.

    There are a few youtube videos on Woodhull like this one where Charlie Rose interviews one of her biographers. It is in the final third of the video.


    Free Love in 1870? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Fabian on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 07:16:48 AM EST
    Running for President is a step down, not a step up!

    I can imagine the names she was called.  She probably advocated contraception - that shameless hussy!  Definitely shameless, at least!


    And almost a century and a half later (none / 0) (#35)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 08:11:56 AM EST
    our media are no better. So much for the impact in the interim of journalism schools, ethics codes, etc. Now we'll see if the public is better. . . .

    chris walken is one of the best (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by cpinva on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 05:33:33 AM EST
    actors of his generation, right up there with deniro. he nailed it in "the deer hunter", and i've been a fan ever since. normally, i don't watch SNL, it's but a shadow of its former self. had i known walken would be the guest host, i would have.

    the original SNL cast were mostly "second city" vets, recruited by john belushi. some were also vets of "national lampoon's" road show, which i saw in college. they were, by far, an exceptional group. ever since, not so much.

    Yes, there was a middle period that was good... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 07:06:41 AM EST
    ...with Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, and then later Dana Carvey and Mike Meyers...but other than that, yeah not so great after the first cast.

    Another Great.. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Jackson Hunter on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 08:09:21 AM EST
    In all fairness, there were some great ones later on in the show.  I especially want to note Phil Hartman, he was such an amazing talent as both a comedian and actor.  His Clinton was unforgettable, if not a little mean since I was a Clinton fan then and now (Bill that is, I'm not trying to get into a Hilary debate :)).  He was so versatile, he really made you believe his character at the time he was playing it.

    I thought Dana Carvey was also pretty good, I miss him but he wasn't what I would call "great".  The current cast is a little blah.  I mean Hell, if Andy Samberg is your go to guy, you're in pretty deep.  He's not awful or anything, but he just can't lead a show.  Some of his shorts are funny, I give him that.  Tina Fey did great with the news, as did Dennis Miller at the time (this was when he had actual writers, and not the VRWC echo chamber as his "muse", he is just God awful now.)  Kirsten Wiig is pretty funny, but isn't given very much to do, although she is getting in more skits as time goes on I think.



    Maya Rudolph (none / 0) (#47)
    by Imelda Blahnik2 on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 09:59:09 AM EST
    Especially Maya Rudolph does Donatella Versace. She rawks.

    Loved the Maya does Donatella skit in which Mick Jagger shows up as Karl Lagerfeld. Priceless.


    The 'Golden Years' were funny and edgy (none / 0) (#33)
    by Ellie on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 08:03:57 AM EST
    Not my era but they were definitely awesome. A friend calls the Repug hopeful "Land Shark McCain" for his awkward body language, shark eyes and smooth face vs. rumpled neck. His barely hidden agenda isn't far from the surface and you can practically hear the "Jaws" soundtrack when he hoves into view.

    I think this is judgment-call cruel (YMMV) since much of McCain's physical awkwardness is due to debilitating injuries, but also funny in relation to the infamous Land Shark character. ("Candygram ... mumble mumble ... Flower, ma'am ..." )

    But back to the Hammond / Poehler Clintons -- to keep from drifting off-topic -- I love that undercurrent to their deft performance of a very married couple. They've survived a lot, and still have the mutuality going on, but as anyone who's BEEN married for a long time knows, sometimes you both agree not to set each other off and to skate around well argued areas instead, cause there's no square inch that blue dress that hasn't been examined and doing so again isn't going to remove it from everyone's awareness.

    It's from that periodic realization that you're not just married but -- as my own ball and chain charitably describes it -- philosophically married.

    I love how the Hammond Bill peers into the distance when answering rhetorical questions and takes a deep breath before striding into the breach with his answers He's just so the husband. That makes me laugh my *ss off everytime.


    For those who missed it (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Grey on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 07:13:41 AM EST
    You can watch the cold opening here.

    Whether the skit itself was funny, or what was funny was the way it skewered the media for pretending they didn't know the Clintons were wealthy is perhaps debatable, but it was certainly effective.

    The sketch... (none / 0) (#57)
    by lentinel on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:49:40 PM EST
    Not funny. Not incisive. Not subtle. Not intelligent.

    The actress does not sound like or resemble HRC.

    It looks like amateur night.

    There is also something chilling and sickening about this. I can't fully put my reaction to this into words.


    weekend update (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by miguelito on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 09:00:42 AM EST
    I found it interesting that on weekend update, Poehler (Hillary supporter) could tell a joke about Hillary and that Seth Myers (Obama supporter) could tell a joke about.. umm Hillary.  Some lame Rocky thing about Rockey being soundly beaten by a charsimatic black man.   These followers cannot even joke about their leader, can they?

    No they can't. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 09:17:45 AM EST
    I thought the opening (none / 0) (#44)
    by OldCoastie on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 09:36:17 AM EST
    was a good chuckle and aimed at the media... seemed like it could be "tightened up" a bit, but still funny.

    I fell asleep right after - was there even a single Obama joke on the show? or are they just not finding him funny at all...?


    cover your bases (none / 0) (#1)
    by TalkRight on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 11:52:54 PM EST
    SNL did just that..

    Weird... (none / 0) (#2)
    by americanincanada on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 11:53:46 PM EST
    I am reading some wildly differing opinions on this opening skit.

    Some have said it went after tyhe media far more than the Clinton's.

    i took it as pro-Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 11:57:54 PM EST
    and anti-media. It just wasn't all that funny.

    Thanks Jeralyn (none / 0) (#5)
    by americanincanada on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:02:21 AM EST
    I was wondering. Not much info out there. Sometimes I hate being on the West Coast. Hoping to stay up long enough after b-day partying (big 40 today, yikes) to see it and MAD tv.

    Were there any other skits worth noting?


    Bang on ! (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ellie on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 02:49:04 AM EST
    Savvy enough to get that the amount is par for a former head of state turned (person) of letters, and I like Amy Poehler's skill but this SNL batch just don't shoot for it.

    I like the Hammond / Poehler performance of the Clintons but the writing just isn't witty or insightful.

    And since I'm in the neighborhood anyway, I wish someone would rehab the whole cast of their habit of mugging at the camera all pleased with themselves after every bit. Even if there's a ripple of a chuckle the cast will mug like grinning idiots till it stops. It's excruciating.


    You're right... (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jackson Hunter on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 08:19:29 AM EST
    It's not really all that funny because it's so true.  Unless you really find a new way to spin it, it's hard to make a dog biting a person funny.  Even granted that however, they could (and should) have done something a little more with it.  I would have worked a reference to McSame in there somewhere, but I am a wee bit partisan.  :)



    Opinions are so varied (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Grey on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 07:32:25 AM EST
    that I just heard Alex Witt of MSNBC say that SNL made fun of the Clintons for their tax returns.

    Hum, no;  SNL made fun of the media for pretending not to know what every person in America knows thanks to, wait for it, media reports!  SNL made that very clear last night, so it takes a special kind of filter to say the show made fun of them for having money and not of the media for pretending not to know the Clintons are wealthy.

    But it is MSNBC, so the filter is part of the package.


    Backing up my own claims (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Grey on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 07:49:03 AM EST
    Here are some quotes from the skit:

    Hillary: "We made it hard for them to find out that we were rich by hiding in our house in West Chester."

    Bill: "I tell you, when it was announced that I was offered $15 million dollars to write my book, I prayed that no one in the press would read the papers that day...and they didn't."

    Hillary: "As with me, I remember thinking, after it was published in every paper, 'What if the press finds out that I was paid $10 million dollars for my book? Would they be able to equate that $10 million dollars I was paid to me having $10 million dollars?'"

    That seems rather clear to me, but MSNBC has others ideas, apparently.


    to be honest (none / 0) (#59)
    by dws3665 on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:52:36 PM EST
    I don't think Alex Witt is intelligent enough to understand the irony that was being offered up in the skit.

    Although Walkens is so good (none / 0) (#12)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:29:09 AM EST
    Answer me this. Was he suppose to not look at people. I know he is reading the prompter, but was that done on purpose in the guy leaving skit? Drove me nuts as I wanted him to look at the person once in a while. Even in the other skits, if he is looking right at the camera, it is fine, but sideways, he is reading the script. Daryl does do a good Bill and Amy is a excellent Hillary. I had one LOL moment and I can not even remember what it was.

    He was reading the prompter alot (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Joan in VA on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:48:12 AM EST
    in all the skits I thought. Not ready for primetime. He's a movie actor after all. He was very funny. I thought the reunion skit was hysterical.

    Oh, the surprise birthday party. (none / 0) (#15)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:52:33 AM EST
    When she could not keep a secret and then jumped out the window. LOL. He and Steve Martin and Alex Baldwin hold the record of most times as hosts. In fact, he might even be tops. He is so funny with such a straight face. But it was too much reading tonight. But that is ok too. Still enjoyable host.

    Sounds funny (none / 0) (#20)
    by blogtopus on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 02:36:54 AM EST
    to me, taking it over the top on the inauguration line... you know that just makes fun of what the Obama supporters are saying about how she's ruining the election out of spite, heheh.

    Just a note: Tonight I had dinner with a couple who were very much into Obama, and I said "I'm sure that you guys have very good reasons to support Obama, and I totally understand that, and I have very good reasons to support Hillary. I'm just glad that whoever wins, we all win in the end." That really defused the atmosphere and we had a fun time talking about non-political topics. I highly recommend it. :-)

    Last night I dreamt I was at a wedding and... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 07:02:33 AM EST
    ...Clinton and Obama supporters had to be moved to separate tables because they (we) were fighting.

    I've noted SNL has taken a pass on Wright (none / 0) (#43)
    by davnee on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 09:34:46 AM EST
    I've got no problem with SNL's Hillary skits.  It's funny to see a candidate's foibles and missteps lampooned.  But I've noted that they've yet to let loose on Obama and his pastor.  They had the Jackson/Sharpton cartoon a few weeks back, before the pastor disaster, which was a great jab at the "post-racial" candidate.  But nothing since, not even on Weekend Update.  I guess that particular potato is too hot even for them. I'd have liked to see them show the courage to touch the third rail of political correctness.

    It's not just Wright (none / 0) (#46)
    by Grey on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 09:52:35 AM EST
    "Obama" is only present in the debates with "Hillary" and I think it would be interesting to see an Obama-focused skit of some kind.

    How is it possible that SNL has taken such a pass on the guy?  Surely they're not scared to poke a little fun at his expense.


    Fear. Dread. (none / 0) (#55)
    by lentinel on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:40:13 PM EST
    SNL is indeed scared to poke a little fun at the expense of Obama.
    They are hostage to the emotional plague that has infected this campaign.

    Walken? (none / 0) (#52)
    by OxyCon on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 10:20:40 AM EST

    SNL (none / 0) (#54)
    by lentinel on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:31:13 PM EST
    I have never find Saturday Night Live to be either funny or intelligent. You can always feel the strings being pulled.

    And it's not even live.

    There's always at least one... (none / 0) (#56)
    by Camorrista on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:48:22 PM EST
    I have never find Saturday Night Live to be either funny or intelligent.

    Thank you for your insight.

    In the words of the Arabian proverb, "The dogs bark and the caravan moves on."


    Caravan (none / 0) (#58)
    by lentinel on Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:52:24 PM EST
    The dogs have been barking for decades, but the SNL caravan's motor has been idling and is not about to go anywhere anytime soon.