This weekend's John Malkovich-hosted SNL featured a great many virable moments, if you'll indulge us the coinage of an incredibly annoying e-jective (make that two incredibly annoying coinages), but we'll set aside the toe-tapping pleasures of interslack ejaculation for a moment to focus instead on the work of Fred Armisen. Always a strong SNL soldier, Armisen's star has dimmed of late for what has been deemed a substandard Obama impression—indeed, by Obama himself.
The dissatisfaction was less over the fact that Armisen was Caucasian than it was over his inability to effectively capture the President-elect's voice and mannerisms. All this led to wide speculation, mostly thanks to this Daily Beast story, that the show was actively auditioning African-American candidates to take over Obama duties. Clearly, however, Armisen wasn't going to give up that easily.
In "Obama Plays It Cool," Armisen debuted his New, Improved Obama Impression, in which he effectively spoofs the famous temperament—no highs, no lows, just cool, improvisational thinking for tough times. He doesn't merely speed up towards the end of his sentences now, but instead offers a finely textured approximation of Obama's bassy bedside manner. Close your eyes. That's some damn good Obama.
A little later in the broadcast, Armisen returns to more familiar waters—sexually androgynous superstars who hit in the 1980s—adding a formidable Boy George to his already spot-on Prince. He might not have that Anakin Skywalker bloat, but he blends in perfect measures the cockney obliviousness and fallen pop-star imperiousness that defined the former Culture Club singer throughout the entire, insane, hustler-thrashing affair. We'll tumble 4 that.