John McCain on 'Saturday Night Live'

Who else thought the opening sketch was weak? It probably didn’t help that the senator — busy trying to get, you know, elected — wasn’t given much time to prepare. We got lame gags based on talking points from his recent speeches. We got a lame McCain-Feingold joke. Even Tina Fey/Sarah Palin was uninspiring. Let’s just place the blame for this mess on the writer’s room. (His ‘Weekend Update’ bit was marginally more amusing — and in both bits, McCain showed a genuine, if wooden, capacity for self-deprecation.)  What were your thoughts on his appearance?  And what do we take away from the fact that a late-night comedy show became a strangely significant campaign-trail stop in the most important presidential election of our time?

UPDATE 1: Two quick things. First: Let’s please keep the comments free from personal attacks on either candidate. Second: Of course I don’t mean to suggest that John McCain lacks a sense of humor: I thought Barack Obama’s SNL performance was similarly stiff and clumsy. And that’s totally fine with me. What I really want from the next person who sits in the Oval Office is an ability to govern and lead and, hopefully, inspire. I’d rank "brilliant sense of comic timing" somewhere around No. 473 in a list of qualities I’d most want in a president. Okay, I’m stepping off my soapbox. Back to your thoughts on the show. And I agree with some of you: the View bit was unfunny and way too long.

UPDATE 2: It seems that politics and comedy make for comfy bedfellows: Lynette Rice reports on the show’s string of landslide ratings wins. We’re betting that Lorne Michaels isn’t the only one who wishes the campaign were extended for a few more weeks.

Comments (1089 total) Add your comment
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  • Gurtz

    I thought it was pretty funny. I laughed!

  • clownie

    thought it was pretty lame and felt forced. Tina Fey is becoming more Palin than the real Palin. Odd
    Now the Keith Oberman bit was histerical.

  • Laura

    I thought this whole episode was disappointing and the worst of the season. I agree that Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin is becoming more and more Sarah Palin like. That has got to be hurting the McCain/Palin campaign in some ways and makes the Tina Fey bits harder to watch.

  • Ted

    I agree the QVC sketch felt long and strained, but it had moments (Tina Fet shilling the “Palin 2012″ T-shirt made me laugh out loud). Affleck’s Olbermann was pretty spot-on, and McCain was marginally better on Weekend Update than during the cold-open. Felt like he loosened-up a bit, although his whole appearance felt very stiff – like he was trying too hard to be the next Bob Dole, who loses big but turns himself into a self-deprecating spokesman for Viagra. Have to say I was surprisingly impressed with David Cook – SNL’s stage is not kind to a lot of musical acts (Coldplay, I’m looking at you), but those guys sounded pretty rockin’.

  • bkingswell

    i liked the show last night. i think it was a good one to have before the election. i wonder how many people watched? i wish obama had been on instead of mccain, but he was still funnier then i thought. ben afflick was good but he usually is a good snl host. ted i thought the musical guest was good too much better thn coldplay last week who sounded not good live.

  • 2cents

    I thought it was bad – on so many levels.
    Love Ben Affleck – but didn’t laugh that much. The Oberman bit was OK, but long. The QVC bit was OK, but long. “Palin in 2012″ was the best part.
    “The View” bit was OK – the jokes were not that funny. Hasselback saying she had printouts was funny, the first few times. Keenan does a good Whoopi. Ben missed Alec – something was missing – he sounded like someone else – just could not think of who.
    I think it is sad that a man has to go onto SNL to try to be President of the United States of American. Just sad.

  • Indyfan

    I thought McCain was surprisingly funny; I enjoyed the QVC bit in particular. Some parts of Weekend Update were funny, too, but the rest of the non-music parts of the show were pretty boring for me.
    I LOVED David Cook’s new song Declaration, and it was pretty gutsy to debut it on live TV, on SNL no less. It was his first chance to show off his own songwriting skills, as I believe he either wrote or co-wrote that one.
    The band did great. I love that it includes two former bandmates from his MWK days, Andy and Neal. The two new guys did great, too.

  • Pauline

    David Cook wast the highlight of the night, he totally was the show, I’m buying his album on November 18, it is the best album ever.

  • Kerry

    I’m glad Obama didn’t stoop to doing this show three days before the election. I thought it felt desperate on McCains part – like he used it as his own infomercial. It was propoganda through and through. Ben Affleck was creepily hlarious in that Target sketch, even if Kristen Wiig bugs.

  • mccainpalin08

    McCain was hilarious as always!! He did a good job of showing he has a sense of humor while still highlighting his own agenda against the socialist policies of Barrack Hussein Obama.

  • Bill

    I finally got a chance to watch this show and see the Palin impersonation. Damn, she’s amazing (no not Palin). The music was rocking, wow. I’m going to look into his album.

  • Liz

    John McCain has hosted SNL before and I remember him being funnier. He seemed really old last night – like in the debates when Obama just looked so much more presidential than that cranky old man. Ben Affleck is hot I’m sorry (I have loved the man since Dazed & Confused and think he and Jennifer Garner are one of the cutest celebrity couples ever). Never really paid attention to David Cook before but he’s pretty easy on the eyes too. I thought they did a better job on the small SNL stage than some bands I’ve seen. I don;t think the accoustics there are supposed to be very good so I forgive Chris Martin.

  • matt

    Is it just me or does McCain actually look more comfortable with Tina Fey than the real Sarah Palin?! He did good, but I have to agree that the writing sucked this week. “Whoopi Goldberg” saved that View skit. Affleck’s a better host than most others who’ve handled it. Colour me surprised that David Cook was a hell of a lot better than Coldplay (last week) or the Killers (couple of weeks back) and some other bigger rock bands that have been on this show. I suppose this means his album has just been released.

  • elena

    I thought the QVC sketch was pretty funny, but John McCain’s apperances weren’t desperate at all. I’m sure he wanted to go on much earlier but couldn’t fit it in his schedule or SNL had a busy schedule, etc. Ben Afflect has been one of the funnier hosts in recent memory (Jon Hamm was rocking it last week as well), but the show is becoming a little blah. It needs some pizzaz and/or glitter. And more Bill Hader.

  • Matt

    I liked the band too but why is everyone hating on Coldplay? I’ve seen them in concert before and thought they were just as good last week. McCain was only okay. This may help him on Tuesday though because he might have swayed some younger voters. Tina Fey is amazing! I wish this wasn’t her last time doing Palin. Though if Palin does run in 2012 Tina may have a gig for a really long time.

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