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October 06, 2008

Unbelievable: SNL Yanks Bailout Sketch

The one that actually, correctly, noted that Bush tried to defuse bomb while the Democrats kept adding explosives to it.

SNL kept its Palin-bashing debate sketch up, of course. But they've vanished the bailout one from both Hulu and NBC.com even as McCain takes the gloves off on this issue.

Why did the let the sketch run in the first place? Well, probably because it was written by Jim Downey and no one at SNL has the balls to stop one of their all-time greatest writers from getting a sketch on. Downey was/is one of the show's top writers, especially in politics -- he did those Gore/Bush debate sketches -- and even better, he's kinda... Republican. Or Republican-ish, at least.

n 1976, Downey became a writer for Saturday Night Live. He worked on 27 of the show's first 32 seasons, one of the longest tenures in the show's history.[1] His first stretch as writer for the show ran from 1976 to 1980, culminating in a brief stint as a featured cast member.


After leaving SNL, Downey went on to become head writer of Late Night with David Letterman for a little over a year during its formative stages. He returned to SNL in 1984, serving for a while as head writer. When Norm Macdonald began as Weekend Update anchor in the mid-1990s, Downey wrote exclusively for that segment of the show. Downey and Macdonald subsequently became a team, working away from the rest of the cast and crew. When Macdonald was fired from the show in 1998, Downey went with him, only to return to the show in 2000. He continues to write for the show, pausing only in 2005 to work on a novel.[1]

In early 2008 Downey received attention for political sketches on SNL mocking the Democratic Presidential Debates. The sketches depicted the news media as biased toward candidate Barack Obama. After the first sketch aired, candidate Hillary Clinton referred to it at the beginning of the next debate. A profile of Downey appeared in the New York Times.[1] In the Huffington Post, former SNL head writer Adam McKay called Downey "right wing" and an "Ann Coulter pal", and suggested that the skits were a ploy to favor Republicans, since Clinton would be a weaker candidate than Obama.[4] According to the Times article, Downey "said he probably favored Mr. Obama over Mrs. Clinton, but that he genuinely felt she was receiving tougher treatment from the news media". He denied that SNL had intended to help Clinton. The SNL sketches may have prompted tougher news coverage of Obama, according to work by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.[5] Downey's political affiliation had been mentioned before in the news. TV critic Tom Shales, author of a book on SNL (Live from New York: The Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live),[6] said on CNN in 2002:

" Jim Downey, who was kind of running the political humor [in 2000 at SNL], is himself a Republican. You know, we just assume that people in the arts are all liberal Democrats despite the occasional Charlton Heston or whatever. But not the case. Downey is pretty conservative."


Additional information about Downey’s political affiliation is provided in a New York Times article dated March 13, 2008 titled “Pro-Clinton? ‘SNL’ Says You’re Joking”. The article states “Mr. Downey said he was a registered Democrat.” [8] The article also stated that Downey indicated a preference for candidate Obama, “Mr. Downey said that he would definitely vote for him if he were nominated.” [8]

Ah, well. Like I said: Republican-ish.

Incidentally, writers don't permanently "leave" SNL, usually. They'll often come back for weeks at a time, like alumni returning to their alma mater.

But why yank it? Allah answers his own question: To stop it from going viral.

Incidentally, they ran another sketch (probably also by Downey) a couple of weeks ago ripping NYT reporters as effete hermaphrodites who would do anything to smear Sarah Palin... except go anywhere where they couldn't get Thai delivered. I kept checking and checking to see if that made it up on to NBC.com and Hulu. It never did. Or at least it didn't a week later, when I stopped checking.

On YouTube: People are saying it's on YouTube, but, it's like, not. It's a still that tells you to click on nbc.com to actually see the sketch, but when you do that, no sketch.

The show sucks, which is odd, because the cast is halfway decent (and Kristin Wiig wil one day be acknowledged as one of the great female cast members, up there with Jan Hooks and Gilda Radner), but the writing is just weak.

This was the only funny sketch, and I have to say, I'm including the bailout sketch. The bailout sketch was politically copacetic but not really hilarious.

Explanation? Possible.

digg this
posted by Ace at 10:14 PM

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