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.