Is it really that hard to find a good — and funny — impression of President Barack Obama? The Republicans think he's an easy target, but Saturday Night Live has now made two attempts at playing him and neither one is spot on.
Fred Armisen usually did pretty well at copying Obama's crisp speech cadence, but his impressions never went for broad comedy — certainly not like Jason Sudeikis' larger-than-life Mitt Romney. On last night's SNL premiere, Jay Pharoah took over the job as Obama. It's good to see one of SNL's two African-American comedians now trying to play the prez, but Pharoah's Obama just goes bigger without really including much of Obama nuance — or a lot of humor. He's less of a comedic straight man than Armisen, but he still has yet to create much of a character (or caricature) that is recognizable as Obama.
When you think of Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton, Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton, Dana Carvey as Bush Sr., Will Ferrell as Bush Jr. — SNL has a long history of finding the perfect impersonation balance between mocking and honoring political figures.
Jay Pharoah has just started his Obama gig, whereas Fred Armisen's had a few years to work on his act, but which guy are you liking better at this point? Or do you wish they'd find someone else?
Watch the videos below, then vote for your favorite.
Here's one of Fred Armisen's past Obama videos:
And here's Jay Pharoah from last night: