Not Ready For Prime Time Laura Ingraham Begs For Bit Part On ‘SNL’

I only watched the Ariana Debose segments of this season’s "Saturday Night Live," but apparently Kate McKinnon made fun of professional terrible person Laura Ingraham last week, and the Fox News host was deeply offended. A sense of humor is just one of many positive traits Ingraham lacks.

Here’s the McKinnon sketch from the cold open of the Will Forte-hosted episode. It’s funny in places despite the appalling lack of Ariana Debose.

This was McKinnon's 800th “Saturday Night Live” sketch (suitable for framing) but Ingraham didn’t feel honored, judging by her wackadoodle response during Monday’s "Ingraham Angle.” Describing the impersonation as “cringey,” which was arguably the point, Ingraham proceeded to imitate McKinnon imitating her. It was like the mirror scene in Duck Soup.

I like Kate McKinnon, I have so much respect for her as a talent. She’s so even-handed in her political commentary.

This is a weird criticism but typical of the conservative victim mentality. It’s unfair somehow if McKinnon performs less flattering impersonations of conservatives than she does of liberals. However, Ingraham’s so-called news show is hardly even-handed. She mocks liberals and so-called RINOs almost exclusively.

INGRAHAM: But seriously, think of all the low-hanging fruit provided by Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, little Petey B and the Squad on a near-daily basis. I mean, I think this is kind of comedy gold, don’t you?

It’s true that “SNL” rarely sends up the so-called Squad, but Fox certainly fills in that demand. Tucker Carlson made fun of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s post-insurrection trauma, and Ingraham ridiculed Ocasio-Cortez for getting upset after Rep. Paul Gosar posted a cartoon video of him murdering her. Kicking sand in people’s faces is an amusing pastime for Fox News hosts but it’s not in fact “comedy gold.”

Last year, Weekend Update anchor Michael Che did skewer House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "Oh please, the only way Nancy Pelosi has a socialist agenda is if Socialist is the name of a restaurant in Napa Valley.” That was probably a joke. As John Steed would say, it has "a certain humorous shape.”

Michael Che is hardly “woke.” His has no partisan agenda. Pelosi just isn’t inherently funny. Republicans love to point out that she’s old and maybe had a face lift (Carlson “joked” that she resembled Dr. Zaius-era Michael Jackson). Insults aren’t jokes. Don Rickles would consider that beneath him.

But I think conservatives recognize “Saturday Night Live” as a cultural institution and feel entitled to equal time, even though their hero Ronald Reagan helped abolish the “Fairness Doctrine.”

After her awkward audition, Ingraham offered to appear on “SNL” herself and play Nancy Pelosi. She’d even do it for free! NBC could just pay her in exposure bucks like Super Bowl halftime dancers. (Ingraham’s own 2007 attempt at comedy is a painful memory.)

Oh, during the Ingraham sketch, cast member Ego Nwodim played Candace Owens, who is unfortunately a real person. Owens whined on Twitter: "Hey @nbcsnl —not sure who this woman is you have playing me but I am much better looking than this.”

Eye of the beholder and all that, but I beg to differ.

Next time just reach out and I’ll play myself. That way the skit will actually be funny and America might even tune in to the show again! #SaturdayNightLive

Candace Owens is so delusional she thinks she’s an actual ratings draw. You’ll notice that Owens did not offer to appear on “SNL” for free. She will accept a post-dated check.

Enough of those losers. Let’s close out with Ariana Debose in the January 15 sketch spoofing New York City Mayor Eric Adams — a Democrat, being made fun of right there on "SNL"! — who declined to whine about it.


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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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