Does Jay Pharoah Play a Good Barack Obama on SNL?

I don’t know why I give it a chance every week, but I still watch Saturday Night Live. I generally don’t watch it live, usually it’s on Sunday, which does give the ability to skip over crappy sketches, but oddly I generally don’t skip over them, somehow hoping they will eventually get funny. They rarely do, and usually I just shake my head wondering how a sketch that had a little promise at the beginning of it could seemingly drag on and on until the sketch turns into utter boredom. Yesterday marked the return of the SNL season with Seth Macfarlane as host, and as a person who likes a good Family Guy episode and finds Seth’s humor on par with mine, I had high hopes. Also, generally liking the impressions Jay Pharoah does, the announcement that he was going to play President Barack Obama had me jointly excited. Hooray, Saturday Night Live was back for a new season!

Then, so much for “Hooray.”

Yup, Jay is up there doing his Obama impression, and I actually longed for Fred Armisen. I don’t know if it was the bad joke writing (and I’m sorry, but SNL writers you’ve had an entire summer to think up funny stuff, and I’m always amazed the first episode of the season usually falls flat, but I digress) or just Jay needs a ton of refinement (again, all summer to get it right – come on!), but the new season was not off to a good start. I’m not going to go into how I only enjoyed two sketches (the commercial bashing Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, as well as the sketch poking fun at Gangnam Style complete with surprise guest Psy), was perplexed by musical guest Frank Ocean singing his, um, hit, “Thinking About You” with disjointed lyrics including “Got a fighter jet, I don’t get fly it though,” and I can generally appreciate any music, but I was lost. Weekend Update was a little flat, and, oh hell, I just wanted the episode to end yet didn’t hit the fast-forward button, in constant hope of “This will be the sketch to bring it back.” It never came back.

And so, as most of the sketches will probably be lost into the oblivion, I have a feeling Jay Pharoah coming back as Obama will be a regular feature, especially in this election season. I’m hoping he gets better, but right now I plight: Does Jay Pharoah play a good Barack Obama on SNL?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:46 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, voice of Seth MacFarlane, Joel McHale
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: June 29, 2012
Kiddie Movie: Only if you want them asking for a vulgar teddy bear for Christmas.
Date Movie: It’s good for the adult boys and girls.
Gratuitous Sex: Somehow Ted gets it on with the ladies, and there is a boob shot.
Gratuitous Violence: Ted runs into some problems with a crazed fan.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: From start to finish!
Memorable Scene: The fight scene with Ted and John.
Memorable Quote: Too many to list.
Directed By: Seth MacFarlane

I know, just the other day you were asking yourself, “Self, whatever happened to Sam Jones?” Actually, you were probably doing some work around the house and heard something about Sam Jones in the background and asked yourself, “Self, who in the hell is Sam Jones?” Well, for the uninformed, Sam Jones is Flash Gordon. Yes, that Flash Gordon from the 1980’s classic, well, “Flash Gordon,” and low and behold he has been resurrected in the funny-as-hell movie about a teddy bear, “Ted.”

Let’s get to the story…

John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) was the kid growing up who didn’t have any friends. There wasn’t really anything wrong with him, he just wasn’t friends with anyone. For Christmas he is given a giant teddy bear, names him Ted, and wishes one night that Ted will be his best friend forever. Yup, John goes to sleep, wakes up, and there he is, a living, breathing, talking Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane). One would normally think you would hide a talking teddy bear from the outside world, but for this movie Ted becomes famous, even appearing on Johnny Carson, but like most young celebrities, after a while no one cares about Ted except for John.

The years go by, John gets a girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), and Ted is his best friend all along, even still living with John as John and Lori’s relationship grows.  The thing is, Ted really hasn’t had the best of role models growing up, preferring to get stoned and sleep with hookers, and John is kind of on the same path, except for the “sleeping with hookers” part, much to the dismay of Lori.

As Lori and John have been together for a few years, Lori is getting fidgety, getting that itch to get married, while fending off the advances of her boss, Rex (Joel McHale), and also wants John to grow up. She knows that for any of this to happen, Ted needs to move out, and, oh hell, why am I giving away the entire movie?  Okay, one more things to give away first before summing it all up, pay attention to the creepy Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) and his son.

Here’s the thing… “Ted” the movie is very funny, in a truly adult humor kind of way. Ted is a vulgar teddy bear who likes getting laid and somehow gets promoted at the grocery store by saying horrible things about the boss’ wife, while John is stuck in a world where Sam Jones is his idol (see, I bring it all back to Sam Jones), and we find out that Flash Gordon is now a partier who likes cocaine, liquor, and floozies, and yet both John and Ted must grow up, just a little, to get to the next stages of their respective lives.  The humor is what you might expect from a vulgar teddy bear, and it’s not just for the boys, the girls in the theater seemed to have a good time, too, but I will say this, many of the jokes might go over your head just a bit if you weren’t a child of the 80’s and 90’s, or don’t know who Tom Skerritt is.

I loved “Ted,” both the movie and the teddy bear.  You would think the joke of a talking teddy bear would get old after a while, but the truth is, there is a personality to Ted that keeps things moving, and the bizarre side story with Donny and his son wraps things up nicely.  Mark Wahlberg does his best as the likeable slacker, Mila Kunis is her adorable self, and Joel McHale is great as the creepy boss.  It’s good for the men and women, but leave the kids at home with the sitter, unless you want your son or daughter to wish for a slightly different kind of teddy bear.

4 ½ stars out of 5! I laughed my ass off and always appreciate a movie that doesn’t totally dumb things down for some great doses of the funny!

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!