Tag Archives: SNL

Toughen up, Mr. President

Donald J. “Faux Tough Guy in Chief” Trump needs to toughen up, suck it up and go with the flow.

He won’t, of course. I just thought I’d admonish him anyway.

The president seems to want to take action against comedy shows (for crying out loud!) that make fun of him. “Saturday Night Live,” a show he says he doesn’t watch, is a favorite target of his threats of political revenge.

Trump talks tough. He bellows about how we oughtta take protesters out back and “beat the sh** out of ’em.” He sidles up to worldwide strongmen, while denigrating our own intelligence experts. Oh, and while he continues to pile on to the memory of a legitimate American military hero, the late John McCain.

He bullies his foes via Twitter, hurling insults and innuendo at them willy-nilly.

But the dude just cannot stomach the idea that others poke fun at him. Donald Trump is a wuss in wolf’s clothing.

I am reminded at this moment of a politician I used to cover when I worked in Beaumont as editorial page editor of the Beaumont Enterprise. The late U.S. Rep. Charles “Good Time Charlie” Wilson was an East Texas Democrat known for (a) his love of the military and (b) his desire to surround himself with attractive women.

Wilson also was an effective congressman who understood the role of the media that covered him. We covered his comings and goings at the Enterprise and on occasion we would chide him for things he would say or do.

We had a cartoonist on our staff, Jerry Byrd, who would illustrate our newspaper’s criticism with his editorial-page artwork.

What was Charlie’s response? How did he react? He would call us and ask us for the original cartoon so he could display it on his office walls in Washington, D.C., or in his district office in Lufkin, Texas!

Yep, Wilson was a grownup who knew that criticism from the media came with the job for which he took a solemn oath.

Donald Trump has yet to understand that truth about public service. I doubt seriously he’ll ever get it.

No ‘retribution,’ Mr. President; it’s not possible

How many times does one have to tell you, Mr. President, that you are not a monarch, or a dictator? You cannot bring “retribution” against a comedy show made famous by its parodies of powerful people.

But there you go again, threatening “Saturday Night Live” because it decided to spoof you yet again.

“SNL” trotted Alec Baldwin out to do that hilarious send-up of you and you just cannot stand being ridiculed. C’mon, Mr. President! Get a grip.

The comedy show has been doing this to presidents since 1975, when Chevy Chase poked fun at President Ford. It hasn’t stopped. They’ve all gotten the treatment. Not a single predecessor of yours has threatened “SNL” with any kind of political or legal payback.

And do I need to remind you once more, Mr. President, about that First Amendment matter? You truly need to read it, try to understand what it protects. It guarantees the right to worship as we please; it protects the press from government intervention; it says we can protest the government. It also says we can criticize the government without facing “retribution” from the government we are criticizing.

Your tweet about “SNL” was typically idiotic. As a reminder, you wrote:

Nothing funny about tired Saturday Night Live on Fake News NBC! Question is, how do the Networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without retribution? Likewise for many other shows? Very unfair and should be looked into. This is the real Collusion!

Total Republican hit jobs? They “get away” with it the way “SNL” poked fun at Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama. Those Democrats didn’t bitch constantly about “SNL.” For that matter, neither did the Republican presidents who had to take the heat, too.

I am tiring of repeating myself, Mr. President. Still, it bears repeating that you need to understand that positions of power invite this kind of treatment from the entertainment industry and the media. You are the most powerful man in the country, Mr. President.

You can act like it simply by stopping these mindless, brainless and feckless threats against a TV comedy show.

Rep.-elect Crenshaw showing serious class and dignity

I want to concur with a friend of mine who said over social media that he is beginning to like Dan Crenshaw more each day.

The Texas U.S. representative-elect has reached out to “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson after hearing about the mysterious Instagram post that suggested Davidson might be contemplating suicide.

Davidson, you will recall, mocked Crenshaw on an “SNL” segment, poking fun at the former Navy SEAL’s war wound; Crenshaw lost one of his eyes in Afghanistan when he was hit with an explosive device. Crenshaw showed up on an “SNL” segment to poke fun at Davidson. Crenshaw, a Republican, demonstrated a wonderful sense of humor in response to Davidson’s mocking of him.

Now we see yet another side of Crenshaw. According to Fox News: “I talked to him personally (Sunday),” he said. “We don’t go back very far. We’re not good friends. But I think he appreciated hearing from me. I told him everyone had a purpose in this world. God put you here for a reason. It’s your job to find that purpose. And you should live that way.”

I, too, hope that young Pete Davidson finds his way out of whatever dark place he’s in at the moment. Some heartfelt words of encouragement from a newly elected member of Congress certainly can provide help.

I join Rep.-elect Crenshaw in pulling for Pete Davidson’s sound emotional health.

Yes, I am liking Dan Crenshaw more as well.

An ‘SNL’ joke makes this young man a star

I didn’t know Dan Crenshaw from the man in the moon … until someone made a tasteless joke at Crenshaw’s expense on “Saturday Night Live.”

Then the young man became all the rage, the talk of the nation.

It turns out he is a newly elected Republican congressman from Houston. He’s also a former Navy SEAL who suffered a grievous injury fighting terrorists in Afghanistan. He lost an eye. The sight in his other eye is flawed. He has trouble keeping his balance and, as the Texas Tribune reports, he “misses” handshakes on occasion.

As the Tribune reported: Weirdly, his election wasn’t the biggest news in Crenshaw’s life last week. That came during the first minutes of Nov. 4 on the “Weekend Update” portion of “Saturday Night Live,” when cast member Pete Davidson, who gave a riff on the midterms, presented a photo of Crenshaw, eye patch on.

“You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit-man in a porno movie,” the comedian joked. “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.”

Rep.-elect Crenshaw, though, is a terrific sport. When cast member Pete Davidson made fun of his injury on “SNL,” many around the nation took offense. “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels invited Crenshaw on the show. Crenshaw at first balked, then he went on and returned the barbs to Davidson.

The congressman-to-be has become a political star as a result.

The Tribune published a lengthy feature about Crenshaw. Read it here.

I find this fellow’s story to be quite compelling and worthy of attention, even without his star turn on “SNL.”

He fought through a difficult Republican primary to be nominated, then knocked off a Democratic incumbent to win a seat in Congress representing his native Houston. He also is part of a congressional freshman class that includes 15 veterans, which I believe gives the next Congress valuable insight into the myriad issues — and problems — that our returning servicemen and women are facing.

I like this fellow’s story. I grieve for his terrible injury, but am proud of the way he handled himself in light of the flurry of controversy that swirled after the “SNL” joke went viral.

I wish him well as he takes on his new job representing his congressional district.

And, welcome home, young man.

Has ‘SNL’ gone too far? Not … in … the … least!

So now some of the chatter out there focuses a bit on “Saturday Night Live” and its treatment of Donald J. Trump and Republican Party.

Has “SNL” gone too far? Hah! The question makes me laugh out loud. It hasn’t in the least gone “too far” in spoofing the president.

I mean, good grief! The show debuted in 1975 when Gerald Ford was president of the United States. Chevy Chase portrayed the president as a stumble-bum, based on the one time President Ford slipped and fell while coming down the stairs of Air Force One.

Dan Aykroyd once portrayed President Carter as an expert on illicit drugs. The late Phil Hartman used to poke fun at President Clinton’s gluttonous fast-food habits; Hartman’s send-ups about President Reagan also were hilarious. Then we had Dana Carvey cracking wise about President Bush 41’s occasional rhetorical non-sequiturs. Will Ferrell made “strategery” a national punch line with his spoofing of President Bush 43. And, of course, Fred Armisen’s Barack Obama made all of us howl.

Donald Trump needs to get over himself. He won’t, of course. The man is fixated on his own image and the idiotic notion that he must be portrayed as something he isn’t, which is an erudite, sophisticated, nuanced politician. He is none of that, as Alec Baldwin’s caricature reveals.

I’ll admit that “SNL” doesn’t hit it out of the park with every sketch. Then again, it has whiffed on several of its previous presidential sketches.

Lighten up, Mr. President. Tell those who comprise your political “base” to settle down, too. It’s all in fun, man!

‘No longer funny’? How does POTUS know that?

Donald J. “TV Comedy Critic in Chief” Trump declares that “Saturday Night Live” is “no longer funny,” it has “no talent” and “no charm.”

How in the world does the president make that judgment? How is he able to discern whether the award-winning comedy sketch TV show is no longer funny?

Oh, he was watching it — one must presume — while the show poked fun at Brett Kavanaugh’s appearance before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

Oh, but the president said he didn’t watch it, but … he did offer some praise for Kanye “Kim Kardashian’s Husband” West for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat during his appearance on the show. So, which is it, Mr. President? Did you watch or didn’t you? Oh wait! He said in his tweet that “word is that” West wore the hat. Nice dodge, Mr. President.

Not that it matters. The leader of the free world surely ought to have plenty to do to instead of wasting his time critiquing a show that he says is “no longer funny.”

This is the kind of response that presidents dating back to Gerald Ford have been getting from “Saturday Night Live.” None of them liked the parody and the occasional ridicule dished out by the writers and the comics.

But, hey. It goes with the territory. At least that used to be the case.

POTUS has yet another bad week; see ‘Jared Kushner’

How can we count the ways that the president of the United States can experience truly bad weeks?

This one has been a serious downer.

His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, gets his security clearance downgraded because he doesn’t have the top-secret designation he needed to handle sensitive documents; Kushner is a high-end senior adviser in the Donald Trump administration.

There’s more.

White House communications director Hope Hicks resigned this week after telling U.S. senators that part of her job was to tell “little white lies” on behalf of her boss, the president. She said her testimony had nothing to do with her resignation. Sure thing, young lady. The president backed her up. But, hey, the timing looks so suspicious.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions got taken down by the president because the AG is using lawyers from outside his department to examine alleged bias in granting security clearances. Trump tweeted that Sessions’s actions are “disgraceful.”

Then, as a capper, Trump tweeted some gnarly remarks about actor/comedian Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of him on “Saturday Night Live.” So very “presidential,” yes, Mr. President?

All the while, it looks as though special counsel Robert Mueller is zeroing in on Trump’s potential collusion with Russian agents seeking to interfere in our election process, which Trump keeps denying.

Analyses keep suggesting that Trump has yet to get a handle on the mechanics of governing, the task of administering the executive branch of government, let alone hiring competent staff who can withstand the intense public scrutiny that goes with the job in Washington, D.C.

Has the president lost control of the “fine-tuned machine” he boasted about a month after his inauguration? It looks like it to me.

Chaos and confusion, folks? It’s all there. On full display. For all the world to see.

This is how you “make America great again”? Umm. I don’t think so.

Spicer makes fun of himself … what’s the big deal?

Count me as one American who has no problem with former White House press flack Sean Spicer making a surprise guest appearance at the 2017 Emmy Awards show.

I didn’t watch it live. I have no interest in entertainment awards shows.

But I heard about Spicer’s surprise cameo this morning. I saw the clip of him coming onstage behind the kind of mobile podium that the comedian Melissa McCarthy made famous in her “Saturday Night Live” skits mocking the embattled press secretary.

I heard about the “mixed reaction” to Spicer’s appearance. I also saw a column in this morning’s New York Times by one of my favorite columnists, Frank Bruni, who is just outraged that Spicer would do such a thing.

Good grief, dude. Get a grip.

I thought Spicer’s act at the Emmys was damn funny. I laughed out loud when I saw it this morning.

What does it tell me about this guy? It tells me he has a sense of humor. It tells me he doesn’t take himself super-seriously. He was able to poke fun at himself. I also could argue that in showing a self-deprecating side, he also poked a bit of fun at his former boss, Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States of America.

To the critics of Spicer’s guest gig at the Emmys, I want to say only to chill out. The guy was damn funny.

Aw, c’mon Sean, those ‘SNL’ skits are funny, man

OK, I’ll stipulate that I’ve never been parodied by a major TV network comedy show, which means I don’t truly understand how former White House press secretary Sean Spicer feels these days.

There. Having made that stipulation, I guess I can say that Spicer needs to lighten up. Melissa McCarthy’s parody of him on “Saturday Night Live” became an instant comedy classic. She had the nation rolling with laughter.

Oh, but Spicer didn’t see it that way. He calls the skits “stupid” and “malicious.”

Well, he’s entitled to his opinion, just as Donald J. Trump is entitled to say that Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of the president is, um, “sad,” “not funny” and “pathetic.”

I’ll just beg to differ with the president, too.

Look, this kind of thing goes with the territory. Did these guys ever see Phil Hartman’s spoof of Bill Clinton wolfing down the Big Mac while jogging? Did they ever catch Dana Carvey’s hilarious mimicking of George H.W. Bush or Jon Lovitz’s equally funny spoof of Michael Dukakis? How about Will Ferrell’s uproarious skits about George W. Bush?

And how can you forget the time the actual Sarah Palin appeared on “SNL” alongside the Tina Fey faux Palin, or the time Hillary Clinton joked with Amy Poehler’s “Hillary”?

This is political humor, Sean. I’m just sad now — in the wake of your resignation as White House press flack — that you’ve taken Melissa McCarthy out of the game.

‘I inherited a mess’; no you didn’t, Mr. President

Donald J. Trump wouldn’t know a “mess” if he slipped and fell in the middle of one. Indeed, he hasn’t yet acknowledged the mess he’s created since becoming president of the United States.

The president said today at his hastily called press conference that he “inherited a mess” from President Barack H. Obama.

Really, Mr. President?

Let’s see: 80 consecutive months of job growth; millions of jobs created during the past eight years; an annual budget deficit that’s been cut by two-thirds; a vibrant housing industry; the Dow Jones Industrial Average has nearly tripled in eight years; commandos killed Osama bin Laden; other terrorist leaders have been killed or captured; we have avoided a major terror attack; Iran has been banned from developing a nuclear weapon.

A mess? Are you kidding me?

Barack Obama and Congress cleaned up the mess they inherited and left you with a country in far better shape than when your immediate predecessor took office.

No, the country’s not in perfect condition. But it’s no “mess,” man!

Paraphrasing the famous “Saturday Night Live” routine involving Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin in their hilarious point/counterpoint spoof: Don, you ignorant shlub!