Too Little Targeting of The Woke and The Powerful, But Hopefully Not Too Late

“Okay, I’m sorry, if you’ve had two boosters and two vaccines, you can get and give COVID to another guy who’s had five vaccines and four boosters.” That was Dana Carvey in his best Fauci voice, wondering about the difference between a booster and a vaccine.

“I don’t know, it’s just more vaccine but booster sounds better. Anyway, a guy with 25 vaccines would get and give COVID to another guy with 25 vaccines. That’s why I’m introducing the daily COVID shot. Every day you get a shot. By the time you get to your car, you got no immunity, but it’s a beautiful 39 seconds.”

As host David Spade recalled, you could lose your job if not vaccinated but those coming into the country were exempt from vaccine mandates.

This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Biden proclaimed in September of 2021. “And it’s caused by the fact that despite America having an unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.”

Recall that Biden ordered “sweeping new federal vaccine requirements for as many as 100 million Americans — private-sector employees as well as health care workers and federal contractors.”

This policy came straight from Dr. Fauci, who wanted multiple vaccinations for children as young as four. Dr. Fauci wanted people to wear no mask, one mask, or even two masks, while proclaiming, “I represent science.” George Carlin would have been all over this half-pint Lysenko figure, but with Fauci comics were mostly AWOL. It’s kind of like that with Joe Biden.

True, Biden’s own antics are hard to top but satirists should accept the challenge. Biden falls down more often than Gerald Ford, a perfect target for Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live. The current White House occupant offers limitless possibilities.

Joe Biden once said that African Americans who failed to support him “ain’t black.” Imagine what Richard Pryor would have done with that. For the possibilities, check out Pryor in this scene from Silver Streak. But remember, political partisanship was not a factor.

On SNL’s “Dukakis After Dark,” Michael Dukakis (John Lovitz) tells Jimmy Carter (Dana Carvey) “I’m about to lose as bad as you did. Maybe worse. How did you deal with it afterwards?”

“I was one pissed-off cracker,” Carter says. “I had to accept the fact that I was a downer. A liberal downer. A malaise-ridden liberal downer. A free-spending malaise-ridden liberal downer, who only knew. . .”

The skit also features Ted Kennedy (Phil Hartman) hitting on Kitty Dukakis (Jan Hooks), Leroy Nieman (Kevin Nealon) painting a picture of the nuclear aircraft carrier Nimitz converted to a homeless shelter, and Joan Baez (Nora Dunn) singing:

Unilateral lateral disarmament, abortions on demand
Take everybody’s guns away, and toss them in the sand.
Free needles for the addicts, free condoms for the kids
We’ll not blame the criminal for anything he did.
For who can say what’s right or wrong, is there’s such a thing as sin?
It doesn’t really matter really matter, if wars we lose or win.

As Dukakis explains, “we represent unpopular and discredited views,” and “one thing that hurt us is the fact that Reaganomics works. It really does.” Later on, Dana Carvey’s takes on President George Bush revealed a true bipartisan approach. The great Eddie Murphy, another SNL alum, had a go at the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who ran for president in 1984 and showed a flair for what Walter Williams called “inane rhyming preachments.”

During a conversation with Washington Post reporter Milton Coleman, the Rev. Jackson referred to Jews as “Hymies,” and New York City as “Hymietown.” That caught the attention of Murphy, who worked up a song for the February 2, 1984 SNL.  As Carly Simon might say, nobody does Jesse Jackson better, and check out “White Like Me,” for Eddie’s take on racial disparities.

The Rev. Jackson apologized for “Hymietown” but refused to denounce Louis Farrakhan. The Nation of Islam leader threatened Coleman and warned Jews that “if you harm this brother, I warn you in the name of Allah, it will be the last one you harm.” So it took some guts for Eddie to step up and sing.

Janet Jackson – no relation to Jesse – had tongues wagging with her famous “wardrobe malfunction,” at the 2004 Super Bowl. Janet suggested that President George W. Bush used “boobgate” to take the focus off the war in Iraq. Jay Leno feared that Jesse Jackson might hear this and proclaim, “Bush used her rack, to distract from Iraq!” But like SNL, Leno was also bipartisan.

When members of the Reagan cabinet volunteered to take drug tests, Leno suggested IQ tests would be more appropriate. And if vice president Dan Quayle were to star in a Vietnam movie, Leno said, it should be called “Full Dinner Jacket.” Celebrity journalists were also fair game, as in Gilda Radner’s take on Barbara Walters.

In this sketch, “Baba Wawa” asks Betty Ford (Jane Curtin) and Rosalynn Carter (Laraine Newman) “what has made you a gweat first wady?” Baba Wawa also interviews Henry Kissinger (John Belushi) the “cweator of shuttle dipwomacy” but also a “wegular guy.”

The SNL crew spared no one and that’s the way it should be now, when the woke and the powerful don’t want to be criticized much less mocked. Comics of the nation, arise. You have tough acts to follow, but we need you more than ever.

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: Ruben Cueto