The most recent episode of NBC’s Saturday Night Live included an extraordinarily pithy and somewhat bold sketch about support for President Obama among black Americans. The sketch depicts a talk show called “How’s He Doing?” The “he” in the imaginary show’s title is President Obama, and the premise of the sketch is how he’s doing is very, very badly as president but still enjoying unwavering approval among blacks.
Host Kenan Thompson opens the putative PBS show by describing it as “the show where the black voter takes a frank, honest look at President Obama and ask, ‘How’s he doing?'” In his opening remarks, Thompson notes that the president’s approval rating has hit a record low of 41 percent, “but even worse than that, the president’s approval rating among black voters has dropped seven points, all the way down to 92 percent.”
He then introduces his “nonpartisan” panel of black intellectual guests, for whom he then recounts lowlights of Obama’s woeful performance as president, which they dismiss with complaints about white people’s habit of of rescuing abused pets and saying that the president has been distracted because “he’s got people running into his house,” alluding, of course, to the recent lapses of Secret Service protection of the White House, which they fail to connect to any incompetence on the part of the president.
But then the sketch gets to the heart of the matter: a segment in which the experts are asked “What would it take for Barack Obama to lose your support?” The answer, of course, is that there is nothing he can do to lose their support. It’s an amusing acknowledgment of the fact that black Americans, who are immune to any charges of racism in the United States, have a very powerful tendency to vote based on race in races all across the political landscape, whereas whites do not.
It’s good to see SNL finally try a little political incorrectness. The show lost its way badly during the Obama years, as it stopped satirizing people who were actually in power, something the cast and writers were very happy to do during the Bush presidency. That made SNL appear increasingly elitist, as NBC’s flagship comedy show responded to the disastrous blunders of the progressive left with nothing but a continuation of its now-irrelevant sneers toward conservatives. Let’s hope that this new sketch marks the beginning of at least an occasional venture into a more populist brand of humor on the show.