live from new york
The early election season is in full swing and you know what that means: Cutting political satire on Saturday Night Live.
The season premiere featured Alec Baldwin as host and opened with an 11-minute send-up of the endless GOP debates. There were some choice moments (Jon Huntsman sliding into "person taking phone orders at Chinese restaurant" mode, Bobby Moynihan doing anything as Newt Gingrich) but Tina Fey as Sarah Palin this wasn't.
Our biggest problem is the second-rate portrayal of Texas governor Rick Perry by Baldwin. How is it that Baldwin, a New York native, can accurately nail the peculiar Boston patois but descend into Foghorn Leghorn territory in interpreting Perry's Texas twang? And while Baldwin is an attractive man in his own right, it turns out not everyone can rock the Perry coif with flair, and Baldwin looked jowly in comparison.
What a Perry imitator needs is that macho swagger and a cocksure smile that holds up even if the words coming out of it don't make any sense, like Will Ferrell's spot-on impression of George W. Bush. Actually, give Ferrell a better wig, a gun and a less squinty posture and he's got Rick Perry in the bag. Come on, Will, America (or at least SNL) needs you!
When it comes to playing Texan candidates, relative newbie Paul Brittain as Ron Paul rocks it, capturing Paul's cadence and body movements with a comically large head.
As a host, Baldwin was only a one-off Perry impersonator — at least I hope. What did you think of the impression? If the Perry campaign continues, who on Saturday Night Live should step into the governor's cowboy boots?