SNL explains Obama's weak debate showing [VIDEO]

By Gabrielle Levy
Jay Pharaoh as President Obama. (SNL)
1 of 5 | Jay Pharaoh as President Obama. (SNL)

Even before the first presidential debate in Denver was over Wednesday evening, the reviews of the candidates' and moderator's performances started rolling in, and it wasn't looking good for President Obama.

His supporters were mystified. He was too passive, some said. Others thought he looked tired.


Former Vice President Al Gore, in a moment of delicious irony, blamed the environment.

“I’m going to say something controversial here,” Gore said during post-debate analysis on Current TV. “Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust. I don't know... Maybe."

Long-time presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer bore equal brunt for his performance Wednesday night for allowing the candidates to steamroll him.

For their opening sketch for this week's broadcast, Saturday Night Live offers an explanation that's at least as plausible as anything the pundits, spokespeople and surrogates have suggested. It's also one many of the husbands and boyfriends in the audience might understand all too well.


Wednesday night happened to be President and first lady Michelle Obama's 20th wedding anniversary. SNL's Jay Pharaoh, who took on the role of Obama this season, shows us how that milestone might have been enough to throw the president off his game.

"Ok, I was distracted by the mess I inherited from Bush," we hear "Obama" thinking. "But still, I should have remembered our anniversary."

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney (Jason Sudeikis) rambles on, laying out his plan of "41 basic elements, six, six abrupt reversals of position and three outright lies."

At one point, Lehrer (Chris Parnell) interrupts:

"Mr. President, Governor Romney has just said that he killed Osama bin Laden. Would you care to respond?"

"No, you two go ahead," Obama says before looking down to his notes.

(They also didn't hesitate to skewer both Gore's altitude explanation or Romney's Big Bird comments.)

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