My love for Amy Poehler goes almost as far as my infatuation with Tina Fey (though I don’t think I have quite reached the level of Dorothy Snarker‘s adoration). Thankfully, there has been no lack of political material for Poehler and the cast of Saturday Night Live to parody lately, and it looks as though the NBC execs plan on taking full advantage of that fact.
Taking a cue from the mass media coverage of their politically based skits in recent weeks, NBC has announced that it will add a 30-minute show, entitled SNL Thursday Night Live (creative, no?), to follow The Office during the three weeks leading up to the election. Here’s what NBC had to say in its official statement:
Dubbed "TV’s funniest and most influential political player" by Entertainment Weekly, SNL expands its "Weekend Update" coverage to Thursdays in primetime for three live half-hour shows beginning October 16. With all of the excitement and attention around Saturday Night Live during the presidential primaries, the anticipation for the show’s take on this Fall’s election will be at a fever pitch, SNL Thursday Night Live will keep the momentum — and the laughs — going. The program is a production of Broadway Video in association with SNL Studios. Lorne Michaels is the executive producer.
On the surface, this seems like a brilliant move. Saturday Night Live is cashing in on the ongoing Democratic primary in the best way — with humor. Whether you think their coverage is biased toward Hillary Clinton or that Fred Armisen was a poor choice to portray Barack Obama doesn’t really matter to those at SNL. The bottom line is that the sketch show hasn’t been talked about this much in a very long time.
Though there may be some uncertainty about the format of the new show, one thing is for sure: SNL Thursday Night Live will be chock-full of Poehler. As one-half of the "Weekend Update" team and the woman behind the uncanny Hillary impersonation, I look forward to seeing her comedic genius shine through in those 30 minutes. For example, here she is as Hillary in the Halloween episode:
I don’t care what anyone says about that surprise Obama cameo — Poehler owned that sketch. But she isn’t the only scene-stealing lady in SNL politics. Watch Kristin Wiig overshadow Bill Hader without saying a word:
Honestly though, I have my reservations about this whole thing. While I completely understand the desire to capitalize on the success of skits like the now-viral "bitch is the new black" (from Tina Fey‘s return as a host) or Hillary Clinton‘s appearance alongside an in-character Poehler, I can’t help but wonder how this may backfire. Sure, the new Thursday night episodes will probably be pretty popular. I will most definitely watch.
But if all politics-based satire is reserved for the new episodes, what will be left to bring people to the Saturday night broadcasts? No "Weekend Update" in the wee hours of my weekend? Really!?!
I can only hope this will lead to more use of Poehler as Amber, the one-legged reality show contestant.
Anything to get her some more "facetime!"