Fred Armisen Performs in ‘Honeyface’Lorne Michaels took some heat for picking Venezuelan-Japanese cast member Fred Armisen to play Barack Obama when Saturday Night Live returned to the air at the end of February, but Armisen himself isn’t having any trouble with it. “I just want to have fun,” he said at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 10. “I like wearing outfits and doing things.” So how does he turn himself into the country’s potentially first black president? “It’s really quick,” Armisen said. “There’s shading on my eyebrows and plastic behind my ears. And there’s a little bit of something called Honey, a honey color, that is something I would wear when I play Prince.” About the perception that “Weekend Update” favors Hillary Clinton, Armisen’s response was similar to what SNL writer Jim Downey told today’s Times: “I think they’re not favoring anyone,” he said. “The pieces are more making fun of the media than anything else. It’s all about the jokes.” —Bennett Marcus
Related: SNL Searches for A Fauxbama
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‘SNL’ Fauxbama Fauxmenting Backlash
Wow, who remembers the last time Saturday Night Live was so politically relevant? On Tuesday Hillary Clinton drew attention to SNL’s debate skit from last weekend, which highlighted the media’s pro-Obama bias, and now the show’s choice of Fred Armisen as their Fauxbama is creating a debate over race in television. Critics contend that it’s inappropriate and shameful that SNL couldn’t find a black comedian to play Obama (Armisen is of Venezuelan, Japanese, and German descent). Hannah Pool at the Guardian compared Armisen’s light makeup to blackface, and Maureen Ryan at the Chicago Tribune wrote that SNL’s failure to choose a black person for the role shows it has failed to keep pace with the rest of the nation’s progress on race relations.