SNL’s second new episode of 2008 began much as the first one had, with an extra-long pro-Hillary cold open focusing on the Democratic presidential debate — 10 1/2 minutes! — that included an "editorial response" from the real Sen. Hillary Clinton. If you thought last week’s SNL was pro-Hillary, this one managed to top that. Do you suppose Lorne Michaels and Co. are really pro-Hillary, or do you think they’re merely acting in their own self-interest, because they don’t have a winnable Obama in Fred Armisen? Food for proverbial thought. Darrell Hammond did manage to provide the best impersonation in that opening sketch with his Tim Russert, overshadowing Will Forte’s Brian Williams and that Law & Order cameo from Vincent D’Onofrio. I think I’ve figured out why SNL’s political jokes just haven’t been working in recent years: They’re more interested in making the point than they seem to be in getting the laugh.
The best sketch of tonight’s episode had to have been The Dakota Fanning Show, with Amy Poehler once again showing that she’s the star of this current cast. Also the biggest request out of host Ellen Page on this night (they didn’t really ask her for much, did they?) to portray Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. It included a taped bit in which Poehler as Fanning went out on the streets to ask actual kids about current socio-political topics. Take that, Jay Leno! Of course, this video isn’t up on NBC yet. Argh.
What else? Oh. Right. Weekend Update brought the other New York presidential shoo-in who wasn’t, Rudy Giuliani, to make fun of himself. Which he did, to good effect. The mainstream media likely will misplay this as they did last week with Huckabee, not clued in to the fact that these politicians really are just reading the cue cards they’re dealt.
An SNL Digital Short featured Andy Samberg doing what Samberg does best: Random silliness.
The final sketch, sometimes a dumping ground, other times the place where the funniest yet risky sketch gets dropped, addressed "the gay issue" and online rumors about Page. Or did it? The sketch just sat there.