When Ben Affleck spoofed the almighty Keith Olbermann recently, it wasn’t very good. It had its moments. The exaggerated camera changes, were funny. But it didn’t nail it. It fell flat.
I’m a big Keith fan, but I’m not just being a fanboi here. I think an Olbermann spoof could be very good. Affleck’s just wasn’t. Good satire requires more than a germ of truth. Many say that Olbermann’s Special Comment segment can be “over the top,” sure. However, it does serve to remember that the segment was born in reaction to the Secretary of Defense characterizing people who disagreed with him as “morally” and “intellectually” “confused.” Such an assertion by such a highly-placed government official demands “over the top,” and thank Zeus that somebody had the balls to deliver.
Besides, Olbermann has never done and would never do a Special Comment on a triviality or on a personal matter, as Affleck’s portrayal suggested. He’s never come close to such an ethical infraction. You shouldn’t satirize a strawman. It’s just not funny. No, Affleck should stick to impersonating Alec Baldwin. His Olbermann was an utter failure.
Leave it to Amy Elliott, granddaughter of Bob Elliott, to clean that mess up. Last night, Ms. Elliott did her damndest Rachel Maddow. It was very good. Watch:
Ms. Maddow, I believe you have arrived.
Parenthetically: I am wishing I could find an online embed of the SNL Digital Short from last night, in which Neil Patrick Harris plays the theme from Doogie Howser, M.D. It is, without hyperbole, the funniest thing I have ever seen. I cannot watch it again lest I turn blue and poop on the carpet laughing. I love brilliance. And that was brilliant. (I am guessing SNL couldn’t license the music for the Web, so no Web embed. Damnit Jim.)
Also, can someone please tell the editors of The Huffington Post that it’s not called a “skit,” but a “sketch?” Grrrrr.