SNL Getting a New Obama

Jay Pharoah will impersonate 'first Canadian president'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2012 1:03 AM CDT
Updated Sep 13, 2012 2:00 AM CDT

Saturday Night Live is getting ready to skewer another election and they've got a new President Obama waiting in the wings. Jay Pharoah will impersonate the president this time around, replacing Fred Armisen, who has been the show's Obama since 2008. "Jay has been doing Obama in his act this summer, and Jay is coming into his own," SNL creator Lorne Michaels tells the New York Times. "I just thought it might be time to shake it up." Armisen, he says, is "the backbone of the show" and will have plenty of other roles this season.

Michaels, a Canadian, says the show is still seeking Obama's comedy hook. "So far we haven’t found it. My joke is always that he’s the first Canadian president," he says. "He wants to think it through, do it in the fairest way possible and be thoughtful. And be a little distant, which I totally identify with, obviously." Jason Sudeikis will be playing both Mitt Romney and Joe Biden. "They're never photographed together so it's no problem," says Michaels. Emerging cast member Taran Killam will probably be SNL's Paul Ryan, he says—and Bill Hader will be Clint Eastwood in the show's take on the actor's chat with a chair. (Read more Jay Pharoah stories.)

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