Here's a shocker: A popular entertainment program is staffed by liberals.
In Thursday's episode of Bill Simmons' podcast "The B.S. Report," Simmons asked "Saturday Night Live" head writer Seth Meyers, who was promoting Thursday's primetime "SNL" specials, whether the NBC sketch program goes easier on Democratic politicians. "Would you say that you skew toward being more of a liberal show? I think that's a fair statement, right?"
"I think you could certainly make the argument… Yes, there are more liberal people involved in the show," Meyers replied.
If the political opinions of "SNL" writers and performers lined up with comedic fodder, their work would be cut out for them. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. "SNL" has had a tough time nailing the perfect Obama caricature, but other Democratic politicians get spoofed on the regular. Jason Sudeikis' silly, out-of-touch impression of the Vice President comes to mind.
"If Biden was president, we would still [make fun of] Biden, because he would be that kind of president," he said.
Meyers added: "And we certainly had fun with Bill Clinton," referring to Phil Hartman and Darrell Hammond's memorable interpretations of the the president.
Making fun of Obama remains a tough task, even as Jay Pharoah's Obama is a notably closer impression than that of the President's former portrayer, Fred Armisen. "Everything you read is, [Obama is] an overthinker. And overthinkers are the hardest guys to lampoon, because they've thought everything through," Meyers said.
He also pointed out that the show is facing a similar challenge with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, because "the most interesting thing about him comedically is his policy positions."
"SNL" has often been accused of treating liberals more favorably than conservatives, most recently last season when word leaked that the show discarded a sketch critical of Obama in favor of one that harshly mocked Fox News. But much like other outlets that spoof the news, such as "The Daily Show," the show has always maintained that the primary goal is to make audiences laugh, not to convince them of a political point of view.
Occasionally, the show simultaneously spoofs both Democrats and Republicans in one sketch. For instance, last week's parody attack ad on Mitt Romney poked fun at Romney's reputation for "liking to fire people," but also took Obama to task for exaggerating the truth in campaign ads.
Bias in the media seems to be a popular topic lately, not surprising during an election year. Last month, Jonathan Chait made the argument in New York magazine that Hollywood does indeed have a demonstrable liberal bias, but that it's simply a reflection of larger cultural sensibilities. Ira Glass, host of "This American Life," argued against assertion that NPR has a liberal bias in its news programming on a recent episode of "On the Media."
"Saturday Night Live" airs its first Thursday primetime special tonight at 8 p.m., followed by another one on Thursday, Sept. 27. Click over to "The B.S. Report" to hear the full, hour-long interview between Simmons and Meyers.
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Tina Fey As Sarah Palin
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Will Ferrell As George W. Bush
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Vaughn Meader As John F. Kennedy
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John Belushi As Henry Kissinger
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Dana Carvey As George H.W. Bush
Before Will Ferrell became the most recognized Bush on "SNL," Dana Carvey reigned.
Mike Tyson As Herman Cain
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Chris Farley As Newt Gingrich
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Chevy Chase As Gerald Ford
This is also a good reminder of how attractive Chevy Chase used to be.
Phil Hartman As Ronald Reagan
David Frye As Richard Nixon
Frye made a career out of this spot-on impression. <a href="http://snl.jt.org/imp.php?i=11" target="_hplink">Dan Aykroyd's Nixon </a>wasn't bad either.
Jon Lovitz As Michael Dukakis
Just wait until the end.
Darrell Hammond As Bill Clinton
The lip bite seals the deal.
Fred Armisen As Barack Obama
We have to give Armisen some credit for attempting to do <a href="http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/cosby-obama/1386282" target="_hplink">his Bill Cosby impression</a> on top of his Obama impression.
Andy Samberg As Rahm Emanuel
"Are you ready to let the part of you that's human die?"
Jay Pharaoh: President Obama
Perhaps this "SNL" newcomer can do Obama's next four years.
Dana Carvey As Ross Perot
Who could forget this classic?
Dan Aykroyd As Jimmy Carter
Carter has all the answers.
Will Ferrell As Janet Reno
Next to his Dubya, this is the best.
Darrell Hammond As Dick Cheney
The winks are what truly make the impression work.
Norm MacDonald As Bob Dole
These are the times when Norm's monotone whining really comes in handy.
Kristen Wiig As Michele Bachmann
No one captures that wide-eyed, empty stare quite like she does.
Jason Sudeikis As Joe Biden
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Bill Hader As Rick Perry
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Fred Armisen As David Paterson
The only place where this might not get a laugh? New Jersey!
Bill Hader As Eliot Spitzer
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Kenan Thompson As Jimmy McMillan
It may be hard to parody someone who's already a human caricature, but Kenan gives Jimmy McMillan the perfect send-up.
Jason Sudeikis As Rod Blagojevich
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Jordan Peele As Barack Obama (NSFW)
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Kristen Wiig As Nancy Pelosi
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Phil Hartman As Bill Clinton
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Al Franken As Henry Kissinger
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James Adomian As George W. Bush
Try telling us he doesn't give Will Ferrell a run for his money.
James Adomian As Jesse Ventura
How is he not on "SNL" yet?
Darrell Hammond As John McCain
"Barack Obama has fathered two black children in wedlock."
Jason Sudeikis As Mitt Romney
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