Saturday Night Live loves politics. Since the show's debut in 1976 executive producer Lorne Michaels and his revolving door of comedy-talent have showcased the foibles and falters of America's politicians. The shows performers have an undeniably lasting effect on the public perception of these political personalities. The line between Tina Fey's Sarah Palin and the real Sarah Palin is so thin you can barely see it; the most memorable Dubya mis-speak is actually a Will Ferrel moment: "strategery."
Tonight, in what has become an SNL tradition, the cast will take to primetime in their "Primtetime Election Special." The main players in this season's political satire cast are Jay Pharoah as Barack Obama, Taran Killam as Paul Ryan, and Jason Sudeikis as both Mitt Romney and Joe Biden.
While it could be easy to view this primetime event as nothing more than a plug for the program, the reality is there are a certain number of Americans whose only exposure to this year's political fervor will be through SNL. In that regard, the cast has a weighty task on their shoulders.
SNL turned the athletic president Gerald Ford into a bumbling klutz as played by Chevy Chase. Through Will Ferrel they turned George W. Bush into an even squintier version of himself. There is no telling what they could do to this year's crop of candidates. These will be the one-liners that last: don't miss them.
PolicyMic will be live blogging the program, so join us on September 20 at 8 p.m. for all the (faux) political coverage.
8:29 pm: And it's over as quickly as it began. My bet for the shared videos on social media is "Convention Cutaways." That was a glimmer of hope in an otherwise lackluster evening. Thanks to all for playing along at home.
8:28 pm: It's a bad sign when I'm more entertained by the commercial breaks than I am by the program. I also think Michael Strahan must have made that Subway commercial pre his morning show contract.
8:24 pm: This Drunk Uncle sketch is completely unwritten and, I'm gonna say it, not primetime worthy.
8:23 pm: Where is Jay Pharoah? What happened? SNL is in a full-on crash and burn right now.
8:22 pm: I gotta say, Drunk Uncle is just not doing it for me tonight.
8:20 pm: It does make me feel safe that the Weekend Update set has been the same for ... ever.
8:19 pm: If there is ever a pigeon in my home I will be way more panicked than this girls in the commercial.
8:18 pm: This new thing that the world does with hipster folk in commercials feels like a Mom trying to say cool things.
8:16 pm: I have to say for primetime they are pushing the envelope. Guy with tip of his penis out? Come on now.
8:14 pm: Convention cutaways: "Guy Who Brought Props That Only Make Sense To Him."
8:13 pm: SNL's advice to Mitt Romney, "Just act rich."
8:12 pm: "Paul Ryan is great if you like Mitt Romney but you think he's too cool and relateable."
8:11 pm: "My daddy was a blind preacher and my mama was a water moccasin." - James Carville
8:11 pm: Oh man, James Carville shimmying and saying, "I'm told I resemble a fist."
8:09 pm: The bookworm's heartthrob. Ladies am I right?
8:06 pm: Seth Meyers is rattling off the headlines of the week: topless Kate Middleton ("I'll hold out for the commemorative plate"), Romney tapes, and "Muslim Rage." Quite a week!
8:05 pm: "The only thing poor people hate more than condoms ... is waking up and going to a job." Wow.
8:03 pm: Okay, Mitt Romney in cash cab = genius.
8:01 pm: Jason Sudeikis really has the elisitm down; definitely Romney's Achilles heel.
8:00 pm: And we're live. And we're making fun of the 47%. "When I talk about these people who don't pay taxes ... I don't mean Southern whites."
7:57 pm: Three minute count-down has begun. Let's do this!
7:52 pm: Who is the better Obama impersonator? Jay Pharoah or Fred Armisen? Let me know in the comments section!
7:49 pm: Good evening ladies and 'gents. Let's begin this live blog experience with one of my favorite SNL presidential spoofs. Dana Carvey as Bush Senior and Will Ferrell as Dubya ... and they're hunting.
5:22 pm: For inquiring minds, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is hosting Saturday night's episode. He's not on tonight's election fiasco.
5:19 pm: Check out this preview of Jay Pharoah as Barack Obama from the season's premiere episode. Any thoughts?