Friday, February 29, 2008
Personally, I thought Fred Armisen was pretty good. There's a legitimate beef here in SNL habitually taking the "token black guy" approach to hiring people of color; this is a problem that goes all the way back to the first season. True, during a couple of seasons in the early 2000's they had Keenan Thompson, Maya Rudolph, and Finesse Mitchell, but Rudolph was the only one who could get parts written for her that weren't "we need a black person here" parts. SNL has had enormous trouble integrating other black comedians into the cast.
That being said, in their current cast they have 3 quality male impressionists, and they're all white (Darrell Hammond, Fred Armisen, and Bill Hader). Keenan Thompson just doesn't have a knack for impressions, and quite frankly he doesn't resemble Obama as much as Armisen does, both in terms of looks and disposition.