Who will play Obama on SNL?

Lorne Michaels made the interview rounds yesterday to promote the return of Saturday Night Live, and more than a couple of people wondered who’d play Barack Obama. Michaels wonders, too. He told the USA Today that he auditioned candidates last week, "and expects to pick from two or three late Thursday." I don’t get the sense that current cast member Kenan Thompson has an Obama impersonation, so it’s more likely for someone else to get the gig. But whom? Obama likes to say the election campaign is about the past vs. the future. So might Lorne Michaels’ decision. He could look to the recent past and invite Dean Edwards back into the fold. Edwards has plenty of experience with impersonations. Or Michaels could look to the future. Donald Glover, as a writer on 30 Rock, has an in with Tina Fey, and sketch/improv experience with UCB’s Derrick. Speaking of the New York branch of the UCB, there’s also Justin Purnell, who hosts the weekly School Night showcases. I also thought of my friend Baron Vaughn, who has acting chops to go with his stand-up delights (you can see him most Monday nights co-hosting Shoot The Messenger’s satirical morning show with Lizz Winstead), but when I reached him by phone, he was in St. Louis at the national NACA conference which I could’ve learned from reading his MySpace page. What? You want more name speculation out of me? How about Leonard Robinson?

Whom else should Lorne be considering for the choice role of Obama on SNL? And do you think the guy who gets the gig will get a chance for non-Obama parts in the show, too?

UPDATED! My friends at Whip It Out Comedy already have suggested another worthy candidate: Wyatt Cenac. How worthy is he? Well, just check out the Obama video he recently posted to Funny Or Die.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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