'Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it’s funny.'7:24 AM, Feb 3, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an interview with Vulture.com, Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels concedes that mocking Republicans is easier than going after Democrats.
"Republicans are easier for us than Democrats," says Michaels. "Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it’s funny."
Are there any basic rules for what works and what doesn’t politically?
Republicans are easier for us than Democrats. Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it’s funny. But we’re not sitting here every week going, “We’ve really got to do the First Family.” This week, our cold open is about three big stories. We have Piers Morgan interviewing A-Rod, Chris Christie, and Justin Bieber. We’re doing more of that kind of thing than stuff about Benghazi or the new budget agreement. The country has lost interest in it. I can’t tell you why. It’s no less important, but in some way you can’t do health care more than twice, at which point there’s just nothing left. But Jay Pharoah does a really good Obama.
Michaels also says it's hard to know whether a show will be good. The interviewer asks, "At what point during the week do you know whether an episode ofSaturday Night Live is going to be good or bad?"
"You don’t. If it goes well at the Monday meeting, where the writers and cast are meeting the host and telling their ideas, then it may dip when we actually read the pieces. Sometimes we have a very bad read-through, but that just means people are made more alert that new stuff has to be generated. Just before Christmas, we didn’t have a cold open when Kristen Wiig made the mistake of coming by to say hello on Friday night. I went downstairs, got a haircut, and by the time I came back fifteen minutes later they had the Sound of Music sketch. And that was the opening of that week’s show," Michaels responds.
Via John Podhoretz.
The importance (?) of being Stephen Fry. Jan 23, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 18 • By KYLE SMITH
What makes Stephen Fry so (his words) “slappable . . . odious . . . punchable”? Part of it is the smug expression, the striped socks. We may also curse the ubiquity. Here he is on dramatic television (Bones), film (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), hosting documentaries, whipping up novels, sprawling across newsprint. He turns up like the Cheshire Cat—and supplied the voice of that elusive feline in last year’s Alice in Wonderland film.
10:06 AM, Apr 22, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Across the Great White North, "Human Rights Comissions" are running amok and making a mockery of the Canadian Charter of Rights, which guarantees "freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication."
Will you or will you not LOL?Jan 17, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 17 • By LIAM JULIAN
I Found This Funny
My Favorite Pieces of Humor and Some That May Not Be Funny at All
A Lesson in Cultural Geography from Steve Martin.5:13 PM, Dec 3, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
I record with interest and, perhaps, a measure of surprise and sorrow a brief dispatch from the frontiers of culture—in this case, the hallowed precincts of the 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Suffice it to say that the 92nd Street Y is the sort of place where Charlie Rose might talk to Anna Quindlen before an appreciative audience, or Leon Wieseltier might interview himself. Culturally speaking, this is important business.
Saturday's National Mall event wasn't a rally, it was a cult meeting.5:16 PM, Nov 1, 2010 • By ALEC MOUHIBIAN
Ever since then-CNN president Jon Klein declared himself “firmly in the Jon Stewart camp” after the comedian's bombastic appearance on Crossfire in 2004, something like an anti-cult has formed around that very camp—including as it does The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and the many books and franchises of its hosts. When the CNN anchor Rick Sanchez exploded against Stewart recently on the radio, he became only the latest public figure to join this anti-cult, and not the first to do so in a slightly deranged manner that ended up costing his job.
Academic overanalysis strangles ‘The Big Lebowski.’May 24, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 34 • By ZACK MUNSON
The Year’s Work in Lebowski Studies
by Edward P. Comentale
and Aaron Jaffe
Indiana, 512 pp., $24.95
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