An SNL presidents reunion would have been a big event for the show. However, a recent SNL presidents reunion was not for television. Instead, it was for a Funny or Die presidential reunion, as the comedic Web site put together another viral hit. Yet all of Saturday Night Live’s recent presidential impressionists didn’t just reunite for comedy. In fact, this SNL presidents reunion was meant to send a message to the fake, and real, Barack Obama.
One of the many things President Obama is stalled on is credit card and banking reform. Activists have called on him to form a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, to protect consumers and their savings from the banks. Now, those activists have all the other presidents on their side – at least the ones on late night.
Funny or Die’s SNL presidential reunion had Fred Armisen’s version of President Obama visited by his caricatured predecessors, who pushed Obama to form the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush had to be there, since Ferrell is one of the mastermind of Funny or Die.
But in addition, Darrell Hammond’s Bill Clinton and Dana Carvey’s George H.W. Bush also pushed for the agency – even though the real versions helped strip away banking regulations in the first place. Some even older favorites were dug up for the SNL presidents reunion, like Dan Aykroyd’s Jimmy Carter, and Chevy Chase’s Gerald Ford.
Yet since Saturday Night Live didn’t have a memorable Ronald Reagan impersonator, except for the late Phil Hartman, Funny or Die reached elsewhere to get their Reagan. Jim Carrey made the special guest appearance as the Gipper – who naturally had the most graphic words for Obama.
One of the hallmarks of Saturday Night Live is presidential sketches, which made it a comedy landmark to bring all their presidents together. Yet it says something that the SNL presidents reunion was on Funny or Die instead, and not the show.
The Web site has become a comedy powerhouse of its own, even spawning an HBO series. It now regularly gets big stars and comedians to make viral hits – and since its online, it can get more graphic to make its points.
The Funny or Die presidential reunion was the site’s latest attempt at mixing comedy with political activism. They even listed a phone number in which activists can call senators and argue for the Consumer Financial Protection Agency themselves. It was read off by the sketch’s director, Ron Howard, who also made a Funny or Die Happy Days spoof about the election in 2008.
Although the SNL presidents reunion was big for comedy, Funny or Die also tried to use it for a deeper purpose. But the sight of the presidential impressionists together may overshadow the actual issues, at least for the moment.
Funny or Die- “Funny or Die’s Presidential Reunion”