December 13, 2002


SATURDAY NIGHT DULL: The host of this week's episode of "Saturday Night Live" is... Al Gore. Yes, just when you thought his never-ending book tour was over, Al's taken on yet another gig, apparently trying to get his book into the top 1000 on Amazon.
There are quite a few reasons why Al Gore should not be hosting SNL. One, while politicians from Rudy Giuliani to Steve Forbes to John McCain have hosted the show successfully over the years, those people all possess lively personalities and are capable of being very funny. To say that Gore's personality doesn't lend itself to comedy (or, for that matter, likability) would be the understatement of the year. After all, as the writer Crispin Sartwell proved philosophically (if not politically) in 2000, Al Gore's continued presence in public life may very well result in the negation of the entire universe.
Another reason that Gore on SNL is a bad idea is that the show had a big hand in costing him the 2000 election. The show's lampoon of the first presidential debate in 2000 was so savagely brilliant (buoyed by Darrell Hammond's impersonation of Gore, one of the best ever on the show), that Gore's advisers sat him down after that debate, showed him the SNL parody, and essentially told him "don't be that guy." This caused Gore to adopt two completely different personas in the two subequent debates, leading Americans to ask themselves which one, exactly, is the real Al Gore (having three separate personas may be advantageous if you're a rap superstar, but not when you're a nominee for President of the United States).
By all accounts SNL produced a dud of a show last week with the greatest actor of the last quarter-century, Robert DeNiro, so I'm not optimistic that they'll do much better with a wooden non-actor like the former Vice President. Plus, the musical guest for the evening is Phish- think Al Gore had heard of Phish before this week?

Meanwhile, Fox News reports that in a recent straw poll Democrats were asked "who is the leader of the Democratic Party?," and the leading candidate, with over 50% of the vote was "I Don't Know." It's been a long, illustrious career for "I Don't Know," who 50 years ago was the third baseman on the St. Louis ballclub made famous by Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First," and now he's apparently taking the Byron White/Bill Bradley/Steve Largent route from sports into politics. And no, "I Don't Know" was never a segregationist.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 13, 2002 03:25 AM
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