SNL's Fred Armisen an Obama Groupie: I 'Like Him More and More,' 'I've Just Been a Fan of His'

Talking to Meet the Press host David Gregory on the NBC Sunday show's web-based feature Press Pass, Saturday Night Live cast member and Obama impersonator Fred Armisen confessed: "I've grown to like him more and more. You know, I was always – I've just been a fan of his, if you could say that about a president. So that's the other kind of good part of it, is you know, getting to like him more and more."

By contrast, fellow cast member Jason Sudeikis told Gregory he wished he could impersonate someone more exciting than Mitt Romney: "I'd prefer that he did something scandalous or something and, you know, incredibly stupid, as opposed to just boring....I mean, he's like a butter sandwich with unsalted butter and the crust cut off."

Sudeikis's comments were prompted by Gregory wondering: "Romney here is not exactly lighting it up on the campaign trail in terms of a being an exciting figure. What does that do comedically?" Gregory then referred to Armisen having the "advantage"of playing Obama on the show.

Later in the discussion, Sudeikis admitted SNL's leftward slant: "...we're only a reflection of what's being, you know, done out there. There's no agenda, believe it or not. Can't help it with, you know, our age and where we live, you know, on the writing and cast, you know, to skew a little bit liberal but it's not like, you know, these are all human beings trying-"

Gregory helpfully added: "It is New York City, come on." Hey David, where is NBC News located again?


Here are portions of the April 29 exchange:

DAVID GREGORY: But what about the personalities? I mean, Romney here is not exactly lighting it up on the campaign trail in terms of a being...

JASON SUDEIKIS: No.

GREGORY: ...an exciting figure. What does that do comedically?

SUDEIKIS: It, it, it – I, I think it makes it kind of...

GREGORY: Even better?

SUDEIKIS: I don't know if it does make it better. I, I'd prefer that he did something scandalous or something and, you know, incredibly stupid as opposed to just boring. Because to play boring is, is a little bit boring. I – we're trying to find, you know, things like this last week we sort of dealt with him, you know – I hate the overuse of this word – but his flip-flopping and sort of not knowing who he is. We're sort of, you know, we were narrowing in on that.

(...)

GREGORY: Fred, you have the advantage of you've been impersonating President Obama now for, for some time, since he's come into office.

FRED ARMISEN: Yeah.

GREGORY: How has this developed for you?

ARMISEN: It's nice because it's – you know, I think that as the public discovers who he is and finds out more about him, I'm doing the same thing. And that's, that's the, the kind of fun thing about it is that as all of that unfolds.

GREGORY: You – I want to show a clip, too, of, you know, capturing the hype of President Obama and then some of the reality that he had to deal with.

ARMISEN [AS BARACK OBAMA]: It's the time to look forward and acknowledge the sacrifices we're all going to have to make. But, before we do that, remember the election night? Grant Park in Chicago, nice weather, Oprah. The white guy Oprah was crying on. Good times. But enough about the past. Let's talk about the present. Remember the convention in Denver? Rocky Mountain air, yes, we can. Yes, we can. Even John Kerry was fun.

GREGORY: These are the two sides to the President, always harkening back to how much hype there was surrounding him when he got elected.

ARMISEN: Yeah, and it's also the public, too, kind of like remembering back to that really fun time. But I've also like, I've grown to like him more and more. You know, I was always – I've just been a fan of his, if you could say that about a president. So that's the other kind of good part of it, is you know, getting to like him more and more.

(...)

GREGORY: Is it going to stack up this year, do you think?

ARMISEN: You know, who knows? And also we can't – we also can't think about it too much.

SUDEIKIS: We don't think about it.

ARMISEN: Yeah. We definitely don't.

SUDEIKIS: We don't sit in a room and try to like – there's no – we're only a reflection of what's being, you know, done out there. There's no agenda, believe it or not. Can't help it with, you know, our age and where we live, you know, on the writing and cast, you know, to skew a little bit liberal but it's not like, you know, these are all human beings trying-

GREGORY: It is New York City, come on.         

SUDEIKIS: Yeah.

ARMISEN: Yeah.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC