‘SNL’ Debate Sketches Write Themselves

Things have been so strange in the political world lately that “Saturday Night Live” was able to stage a sketch that barely wavered from the actual event.

Just as with some Sarah Palin bits three years ago, writers needn’t do much more than provide the same transcripts from the politicians for the sure fire laughs. If you can’t improve on reality, why bother?

This time of course it was all based on Wednesday’s Republican debate, where Rick Perry’s memory lapse was such an astounding moment of TV politics, it need not be much embellished, but just played straight.

That Perry couldn’t remember his answer and yet they kept asking him to complete it was much like the old “SNL” sketch in which they asked Dana Carvey’s George H.W. Bush to elaborate an answer he had no elaboration for, telling him he had a lot of time left to answer.

The never-shrinking field of 2012 GOP candidates is well handled by the “SNL” cast – each one is getting better at the impersonation week by week.  Kenan Thompson has added a leering wink to his Herman Cain impersonation; Kristen Wiig’s Michele Bachmann has always been on target. Andy Samberg’s Rick Santorum is getting more petulant; Bill Hader’s Petty is a little too loosey-goosey but he’s making it his own.

They are all lucky that the amount of material they’re working with is nearly unlimited. Just hours before Saturday’s show yet another GOP debate was being staged – and maybe carefully transcribed for the next “SNL” – live from Spartanburg!

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