Questions about who would play Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live have been circulating ever since the senator from Illinois declared his intention to run for president. So far, the only time SNL has featured Obama in a skit was a cameo performance by the man himself, just before the writers' strike began. Now that the strike is settled, the show, three days from airing, finds itself with no clear candidate to play the Democratic front-runner. “A lot of times with our show, everyone’s really talented when it comes to impressions, so looks have a lot do with it,” head writer Seth Meyers told New York on Tuesday. Which is why Kenan Thompson, SNL's only black cast member at the moment, was often mentioned as a possibility. But apparently producers have wisely decided that would be like asking William Hung to play Chiyo in Memoirs of a Geisha, and, yesterday, the Post announced that Lorne Michaels was holding auditions outside the cast for the role. That afternoon, the Chicago Sun-Times declared that SNL's "Fauxbama" would likely be 30 Rock writer Donald Glover.
But this is not so, according to D.C. Pierson, a member of Glover’s sketch-comedy troupe, Derrick. “It’s like, someone started a rumor online, basically, and a bunch of people picked it up.” NBC spokesman Marc Liepis shot down the rumor via an e-mail. “Bad intel," he said. "The Chicago Sun-Times ran without confirmation.”* A decision about Obama will be made tonight, Liepis confirmed this morning.
But Meyers says the team doesn't want to write too much material about the candidates, anyway. They don't want the show, he said, to take “too much of a political slant." Plus, they missed the best part of the election. “It’s always really fun when there’s six candidates, because a lot of them are crazier and funnier than the viable ones,” said Meyers. “By the time it gets down to two candidates, they can be less fun. So every time one dropped out, we were like, 'Ahhhhhhh!'” The cast is grateful, however, for the persistence of Mike Huckabee. “He is a nut ball,” says Meyers. “The best thing about him staying in the race is that he literally cannot win, and he’s staying in anyway.”
In the event that the denials about casting Glover are all a ruse and he’s about to become incredibly famous, check him out in action when Derrick performs tonight at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater.