In a DoubleX gabfest from April, our lovely guest Jack Shafer made the observation that the best way to rebut Sarah Palin’s nonsensical public statements would be through comedy. You can’t argue with the ravings of a moron without sounding moronic yourself, Jack explained-and when we argue with Palin, we just make her seem more sympathetic. But “[o]nce the comedians really lay into [Palin] … once you get the crowds and the masses laughing at her,” people will realize that she’s spouting a whole lot of gibberish.
I mention Jack’s thoughts as a way of introducing the cold open from this weekend’s Saturday Night Live , in which Kristen Wiig played Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. Just like Palin before her, O’Donnell’s views are scattershot . And also just like with Palin, when people try to challenge O’Donnell’s statements, she somehow uses it to her own advantage. For example, when critics slam O’Donnell for preaching fiscal responsibility when she can barely manage her personal finances, O’Donnell says , “I think the fact that I have struggled financially is what makes me so sympathetic.” But O’Donnell is an even easier target for the comedy community than Palin is-from her statements about dabbling in witchcraft to her anti-masturbation commentary, she provides endless fodder.
So did the Saturday Night Live sketch manage to get the crowds laughing at O’Donnell? Not really. Perhaps O’Donnell makes it too easy , as the writers basically constructed a five-minute-long masturbation joke. “I will have you know that I masturbate constantly,” Wiig as O’Donnell says. I giggled a few times, but to really shoot this Mama Grizzly down, SNL is going to have to do better than tired wank humor. Clip below.
Photograph of Christine O’Donnell by Brendan Smialowski for Getty Images.