Verbal Remedy AKA Denise

Verbal Remedy AKA Denise
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NOVEMBER 3, 2008 1:43PM

Seth Meyers, Don't Make Me Hate You (More Than I Already Do)

Rate: 8 Flag
Seth Meyers, Head Writer, Saturday Night Live

OK, Seth, so you stepped into a set of high-heeled shoes that were going to be difficult to fill no matter what when Tina ran off to do 30 Rock, and I totally get that.

I'm enough of a Sorkin whore that I watched the entire (only) season of Studio 60, too, so I get it. It's not easy pulling Saturday Night Live together week after week, year after year, day after day, hour after hour, obsessing and brainstorming generating and discarding hundreds of ideas to cull the lot of them down to just a few that will make it to air. I understand. I do.

I've been watching the show since the days of Gilda, the Land Shark, and Find-A-The-Pope-A-in-A-The-Pizza, Seth. I've stuck through thick and thin with this show. It's always had lots of thin. I've been OK with that, because somehow the moments of brilliance have been frequent enough to keep me coming back.

And I'm more than familiar with the perennial fan lament that it's "not as good as it used to be,"

But honestly? These past few episodes, Seth? This season so far?

AWFUL.

 Just well and truly awful.

I could write about seemingly endless, pointless sketches that go on and on and on (apparently in a fruitless search for punchlines). I could whine about already missing Amy--you aren't the same without her, man, and you're going to have to fill that empty chair next to you on Weekend Update pretty damned soon because when it's just you, it's flat as the squirrel I saw last weekend on the highway offramp during the Walk for the Cure.

I could even bitch about the fact that McCain's been on the show, what, thirty-six times in the last year? 

I could point out that Kristin Wiig is a brilliant performer but that the whole Aunt Linda thing has long outlived its amusement half-life, and that even for Kristin, the only sketches I can bear to watch right now are Penelope and Two A-Holes...

 But all of that is really beside the point.

Seth, you have GOT to do something about Fred.

 

armisen as obama
 

Specifically, about Fred as Obama. Because it's just not cool, Seth. It's not cool to put Fred, who is obviously out of his depth, into modernized blackface to play our next President for the next few years.

It's not ONLY that he's not funny as Obama, Seth. It's that he resembles Obama just about as much as I resemble Iman. 

To quote Nicholas Fehn, just, NO!

The look, the bearing, the stature, the vocal mannerisms...all completely wong. Fred is a dork, Seth. A total nebbish. It's going to take more than dark pancake makeup and taped ears to capture the nuances of our 44th president.

Now, I know that as head writer, you don't really do casting. (Do you?) But surely you've got some pull with the producers? Can't you go talk to Lorne and explain that somewhere out there (among the Groundlings or Second City or The Improv or TheatreSports or wherever in the hell you scared up Jason and Andy and Bill) there must be a young, hungry performer who is capable of embodying/skewering the man who's going to be our leader with some...well, some semblance of competence.

Surely somewhere, there is a young, funny, tall, thin guy, hoping for a break.

 Go find him, Seth. Because I don't think I can stick with you if you don't.

Let Fred bo back to being Nuni and Prince. Just get him out of the Obama suit, OK?

Thanks, Seth. I'm glad you let me get that off my chest.

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I have to, respecfully, disagree, Verbal. Usually, I don't find much Fred does very humorus but I think he pulls off the Obama bit pretty darn well. I laugh.
Granted, he's not near as good as Tina but then who is. And I think Seth blows Amy away on Weekend Update. Though she is fabulous elsewhere.
Just thought I weigh in.

rated
I really don't like Fred as Obama, either. He pretty much sucks at it.
I just feel sorry for Seth Meyers. It doesn't how talented of a comic performer you are, you're probably going to look lame by comparison to Amy Poehler. How can anyone compete with her?

I definitely agree with you on Wiig's Aunt Linda. It got old a while ago. Andy and Jason are great performers who are underutilized. Jason does a good job of the normal, average looking guy who is certifiably insane. He reminds me of Dave Foley on Kids in the Hall.

For me, the jury's still out on Fred's Obama impersonation. It's boring, but then again, so is Obama. How do you make Obama funny? It seems like there isn't a lot of material there.
ST, I can think of a few ways to make O. laughable.

Start with his strengths (soaring, aspirational oratorical speaking style; the practically insane optimism; the brilliant penchant for using the second person plural "We" rather than "I") andtoss in a couple of his more noticeable vocal mannerisms ("to" = "tuh," "you" = "yuh") and then crank 'it all up to 11.

About absolutely trivial, dull matters.

"My fellow Americans, we worked together in this campaign tuh bring about meaningful change in this great nation! So now, I want yuh tuh......tuh join hands with me and start being the change we need! We're gonna start by changing...changing...changing the way we look at each other! No matter which side of the aisle you're sitting on, I want yuh tuh...tuh get up and go to the other side of the room! Right now! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Because there is no Right in this country...there is no Left in this country...there is just one great big room! So we're gonnuh...we're gonnuh stop having Congress meet in a hall that divides us into Right and Left, and we're gonnuh start having our senators and congressmen sit in a great big circle on the Mall, under the shining beacons of freedom, and..."

Blah blah blah.

Next on the change agenda: Pancake mix, toilet paper brand, and networks. Starting next week, NBC will move to ABC, and ABC will move to CBS, and CBS will go to QVC, because we all need a change in perspective.

You'd end up with a tall, skinny guy
(ahem, cut off) who is at least physically passable as Obama, with gags that hang on his perceived "flaws" (egotism and ambition and pollyanism).

Which would HAVE to be better than Fred in honeyface.
Really??!!??!

Seth needs a person to complement his straight man.
I thin WIll should do it, the guy who sings high. He is nuts.
not only is Fred bad as Obama, but Darrell is a terrible McCain.

There are more talented and funny black comedians out there beyond Kenan Thompson (who is genuinely funny and deserves credit).

I like Kenan, Kristin, Bill, Amy and Will. Casey ain't bad, but she's in more of a supporting role right now. Andy just looks funny. His skits (and movie) are terrible.

Still, that Will Farrell "Bush Endorsement" skit was effing hilarious.
I miss Norm MacDonald honestly. He was such a f'ing idiot you couldn't help but laugh at him. Also Dennis Miller, quick wit!
Okay, so I am really late to this post, but I beg forgivness---there have been a few things going on ---and on---and on--and I agree Verbal--that by now-- we should have had a more humorous Obama---but maybe-- just maybe--last night we turned a corner--Maybe this Saturday--- a President -elect Obama--- will be more fur-tile funny ground. We can hope...we're gonnuh hope--- that tuh-gether we find a fun-e-arh take on this man.
Amy Poehler had her baby and Seth got hung out to dry. The only two individuals to be able to handle Weekend Update were Norm McDonad and Dennis Miller. Poehler/Fey and Poehler/Myers depend on each other. I agree the humor has gone downhill in recent years, but it's tradition. I will miss it when it's gone...
Are you guys all crazy? Seth Meyers is Not funny at all! Weekend Update has gone downhill so much in recent years. Norm Macdonald was great, as were Dennis Miller and Kevin Nealon. Jimmy Fallon was terrible too! The problem is Seth Meyers is just not funny! The kind of humor they rely on is so incredibly stupid! It makes me physically sick to watch most of SNL nowadays. Kevin Nealon, Dennis Miller, and Norm Macdonald all are amazing comedians. They don't have to make a good joke to get a laugh. Just hearing them talk and watching there expressions is enough. They all had excellent delivery!
I'm Sorry, but Seth doesn't have it. I cannot believe that anyone actually thinks he is funny. As with most of the cast today, its like they are just reading lines and waiting for laughs. Amy Poehler can be very funny, I like her a lot, but not on WU. The whole back and forth thing with her and Seth just doesn't work. As for Fred, he can be very funny and his Obama isn't too bad. Andy Samberg is one of the best cast members they have had in the past 10 years! The whole direction the show is going really makes me angry. I absolutely hate the way Jimmy Fallon would always laugh during skits! That was his only way to get a laugh from the audience. Seth does this too in a different way. So do other cast members. Get it together guys!