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Al Sharpton on SNL

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Al Sharpton has established himself as the quickest wit among the Democratic candidates, but he turned in a painful performance as the guest host for Saturday Night Live. The monologue went well, with Tracy Morgan goading the Reverend Sharpton into reprising some of his James Brown dance moves. From that point forward, though, Sharpton made every minute he was on camera look like an act of penance. He missed his cues and spent most of the skits staring glumly into space until it was his turn to talk. After the news, I couldn’t bear the thought of watching Sharpton squirm anymore and I turned the television off.

Maybe towards the end of rehearsals Sharpton began to worry that appearing on Saturday Night Live might hurt his chances of becoming President of the United States.

Originally posted on A Frolic of My Own.

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About Todd A. Price

  • Wow, sounds like you watched a completely different show than what I saw. I thought he was excellent. Heck, even Republicans have been buzzing today about how well he did.

    I only saw him obviously having cue card troubles once, which slowed things down for like, one second.

    Rand knows, it’s not like I approve of the guy, but give the devil his due. He did outstanding work last night.

  • Didn’t see it, but I’ve heard Sharpton has amazing charisma. Maybe that explains his success as a public figure, though I don’t see his appeal.

  • I have to agree, although I don’t think Sharpton did that badly. I think it was the poorest writing of the past two years that made the show a forgettable one. The bit with Paris Hilton was hilarious. The last sketch, with Hammond doing Johnny Cash, was absolutely bizarre. A strange episode of SNL, not a shining moment in its history.

  • I wouldn’t particularly describe Sharpton as “charismatic” from my personal perspective. He’s one of America’s best public speakers, though- as were Bill Clinton and Jimmy Swaggart in their primes. He’s smart- or clever– if you want to discount it. He’s got personality, he’s quick on his feet, and he’s just plain skillful in those kind of things.

    Also, am I nuts, or was that Johnny Cochran sitting in the front row watching Sharpton impersonating him in the Michael Jackson rollercoaster sketch?

  • The Rev. strikes me as an opportunist playing with the very serious matter of civil rights for his own gain. However, it is possible I am underestimating the man, I suppose.

  • No Diva, you’re absolutely right. I would argue that he’s done some harm to the cause of civil rights with his wicked demagoguery. At some point, he doesn’t mean a lot to me personally one way or another. However, if I were black, I think I’d really, really hate this guy.

    Hell, he actually got a full-fledged libel verdict against him for his defamation of public officials in the Tawana Brawley stuff. You know how difficult it is to get such a thing. And that isn’t really even the worst of his sins.

    Nonetheless, he’s sharp and skillful. I don’t much care for Bill Clinton either, but he too has great skills as a public speaker. Hey, Satan talks a good line.

  • Eric Olsen

    Thanks Todd and welcome! I am somewhere in the middle on this: he was kind of clunky like most nonperformers on the show, but he was game and at least stayed in character most of the time. It was a very odd episode but also edgier than most and surprising. I thought Paris did a remarkable job of maintaining her dignity in what amounted to a sexual proposition based on her most famous role as an amateur porno star. If her angle was to have people see her in a somewhat different light, she succeeded with me.