It’s true what they say: there’s no better way to get over a breakup than by writing a hit R&B song. That’s the approach Chance the Rapper, Keenan Thompson, and Chris Redd took on Saturday Night Live this weekend, donning scarves, suits, and more scarves for a mournful Boyz II Men-style ballad about someone we’re all missing lately: Barack Obama.
On the air, the skit’s big joke was the reveal that the song was about Obama, which is somewhat spoiled by the video’s online title being “Come Back, Barack.” But even with no surprises, there’s plenty of great detail in the video, from baggy suits to elaborate candelabras to the cathode ray TV on the Egyptian nightmare of a set. Thompson is the standout here, delivering asides like “I’m sweating through my damn scarf” with aplomb before going full Hoppy Jones for a spoken verse that is also a voyage of discovery:
It’s been a long time, Barack. Almost as long as since a guy talked over a record like this. But for real? Why would you leave us? Oh, ’cause you had to? Because of the Constitution? But you can, come back, right? Oh, you can’t? Because that would undermine the very institutions that we’re barely holding on to as it is? I see. I guess we’re stuck with this dude for a while then. Maybe you could come back and make a speech. How much would that cost? For real? Oh, no, we definitely can’t afford that. So I’m just getting rained on for nothing. That’s interesting. Well, you enjoy your retirement, homie.
But Chance the Rapper gets the best line, a succinct description of how screwed we are: “Trump don’t even got a dog, man.” Now, for purposes of comparison, here’s the video for Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road,” which, as you’ve probably forgotten, has an even more embarrassing spoken verse than “Come Back Barack.”