Tracy Morgan, of all people, finished it.
It, of course, being the political controversy surrounding Saturday Night Live's supposed support of Hillary Clinton. At least we can hope so, after a long round of puffed-up news surrounding the late-night institution and its supposedly sincere political soapboxery. We're years into an unnecessary war, the dollar's in the tank, people are losing their homes all over the place, and FOX News is still referred to as "news". And we have to spend time objecting to SNL?
But our long national SNL nightmare is now over. Tracy Morgan made sure of that, on the March 16th edition of SNL's "Weekend Update," the same place where just weeks before his 30 Rock co-star (and boss) Tina Fey had uttered the "Bitch is the New Black" line that started all the kerfluffle.
So Tracy Morgan came back with a long and (sometimes) clever response, capped with his own buzz-worthy line: "Bitch may be the new Black, but Black is the New President, Bitch."
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It needs be said here that Tracy Morgan prefaced this statement by saying "You know I love you, Tina. You know you my girl." And then he followed it by adding "Tina, I love you baby!" over the applause of the audience. Which all seemed sort of overdone, honestly—like Tina Fey was actually going to get upset over him calling her a bitch, given that most of her act weeks before had included identifying herself as a bitch. It felt staged. It felt like pro wrestling.
It was a good line, designed (just as Fey's had been) to elicit a specific response from the audience. To seem daring, cutting edge, and funny. And it was. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Tina Fey wrote the joke, and gave it to Tracy Morgan to perform, actually. After all, Tracy Morgan isn't the best comic SNL has produced—during his tenure on the show, he came up with only a few passable characters (Brian Fellows, Astronaut Jones). Tina Fey's 30 Rock is what saved Morgan from (for now, anyway) ending up the Garrett Morris of the new millennium.
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That's not to say that Tracy Morgan couldn't have written the joke—he surely wrote the earlier jokes in his Weekend Update bit, and they went over well enough. (Even though calling Hillary just an "old white lady that's not getting enough lovin'" seemed, I don't know, not funny. But that's Tracy Morgan's comedic instincts for you.) The direct response, though—well, if it wasn't written by Tina Fey and approved by Lorne Michaels, then it sure could have been. And I guarantee that they both gave their wholehearted thumbs-up to the joke long before it aired, if nothing else.
After all, talking about "the politics of Saturday Night Live" is missing the point of both politics and Saturday Night Live. -- Teague Bohlen