A few years back when Saturday Night Live cast featured player Jay Pharoah, he was loved by audiences fairly immediately for his slew of celebrity impersonations that included Will Smith, Jay Z, and Denzel Washington to name a few. Of course, this was just loose change as his best one was left at the door: President Barack Obama. While audiences have seen the impression through the years on Youtube and a few talk show appearances, the big question was when would Lorne Michaels make the big Fred Armisen-Pharoah switch? Given that this is an election year and Pharoah has established veteran status on the long-running sketch series, Michaels finally opted to make the move to the better likeness.
Fans did not have to wait very long to witness the change-up as Pharoah’s Obama was in the cold open of the season premiere opposite Jason Sudeikis’ Mitt Romney. The focal point was certainly on the sketch which had the president explaining his secret weapon happens to be his competitor, but this sketch may also be known for introducing Taran Killam as VP candidate Paul Ryan. Saturday Night Live has interestingly enough elected to go with jabs at how he has become notorious for stating facts that are not true. Expect more of that throughout the season, but tonight belonged to the shift in direction at the top of the political pyramid.
SNL rarely double dips on politics, yet they did so last night, possibly foreshadowing their plans for the upcoming season. After a voice-filled monologue by host Seth MacFarlane, the show aired the following canned political commercial that mocks the ridiculous nature of some Super PAC-ran ads against Mitt Romney’s time with Bain Capital. Cast members involved in the sketch include Bill Hader and Kenan Thompson.