Barack Awaits His Drag Queen

So: for the Democrats, it’s going to be a long campaign. But for a minute I’d like to comment on the man in the picture. I like Barack Obama as well as the next Bush hater does, but the amount of uplift that continues to greet his candidacy, whether ebbing or flowing, has me worried. Not about whose finally going to be the one to knock him from his still saintly pedestal, or even about the headaches that await him if he’s elected and actually has to govern. No, I’m worried about who exactly, when the writers’ strike ends, is going to play him on “Saturday Night Live.” The bench of talent that SNL used to have precisely for purposes of political satire has gotten shorter and shorter. I mean, SNL is so hard up these days that when the show did a Bill-and-Hill Halloween skit last fall they had Darrell Hammond as Bubba, Amy Poehler as Mrs. Bubba, and Obama played by…himself! Granted, the Illinois Senator is not a cinch to mimic, but certainly SNL could find somebody in this great land of ours who’s up for the task. SNL competitor “Mad TV” made a stab last February, when Keegan-Michael Kay did his Audacity-of-Hope best. But in that skit Kay was much sharper as Bill Cosby than as Obama. (Mad TV’s later hip-hop video spoof of Hillary and Barack, which you can watch here, was a little better.) Even if SNL manages to find a credible Barack, that won’t necessarily mean the cementing of his place in the pop-culture pantheon. As Bette Davis once said, “You’re not truly an icon unless you’ve been successfully played by a female impersonator — and that applies whether you’re a man or a woman!”

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