One of the most interesting moments during this Slate podcast was Metcalf’s assertion that imitation news programs are where satire is currently thriving. Successful comedic parody has lost its stronghold on shows like SNL because current politicians, as opposed to the Fords and the Bush Sr.’s of yesteryear, have become full-stop performers without true existences to be parodied.
Without getting too deep into a conversation on existentialism and essence, it seems politicians have become caricatures of the essence they wish to display, leaving very little for current impressionists to work with. Below I’ve included a clip of Chevy Chase depicting Gerald Ford – depicting his essence. Obama and Romney are already at that detached level of performativity in real-life debates, and what is left to critique is the essence of the media itself, the essence of TV. Satire news programs are thriving, because they critique the vehicle so-to-speak, the apparatus that depicts politicians, rather than the already overly molded/crafted/directed politicians.