This, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a fine example of someone choosing to take the high road when it comes to a controversial topic, and it makes us like Fred Armisen as a performer that much more. Typically, you would think that someone in his profession would be unhappy when a popular impression was taken away from him and given to someone else; and when it comes to Jay Pharoah now getting the opportunity to be President Barack Obama on “Saturday Night Live” this season, he had absolutely nothing negative to say at all.
Speaking to Deadline at a TCA panel this week in promotion of the new season of “Portlandia” (which arrives on IFC this weekend), Armisen had the following to say in praise of “SNL” and of his co-star:
“It feels incredible, it makes me feel like I am part of something bigger … It’s like SNL is its own living thing and we are just a part of that. Now we’ve both helped to paint this picture of the president. We’ve made some kind of art together.”
Ultimately, Armisen probably realizes that he has nothing to really complain about, either, when it comes to his role on the show at the moment. Obama was one of his weakest impressions, and now he can take his time and put it towards building some new bits on the show that are funnier and a little more creative … which is what he does on “Portlandia” on a regular basis.
Do you think that “SNL” has improved with Pharoah in the Obama role, and what do you want to see Armisen do more of on the show moving forward? It is two weeks before the show returns with Jennifer Lawrence as host, but you can head over here to find out who is hosting the show at the end of the month.