Last week on this blog I noted that humor had been sorely lacking in the McCain campaign. The days that followed had McCain cracking wise at the Al Smith Dinner and on the Letterman Show, and Sarah Palin appearingtwice on Saturday Night Live.
The Letterman interview in particular has already received press attention for McCain’s quips (and apology, having lied to Letterman and blown off an interview for Katie Couric on the day he suspended his campaign); and the New York Times gave Sarah Palin a glowing review in today’s edition.
In each case, though, I think the press missed the story. McCain was funny on Letterman; really, he should do all his campaigning from Letterman’s program, he’s far more natural there.
But the real story was Letterman. If you haven’t watched the full interview, give it a look. Letterman does the best grilling of either candidate that we’ve seen by anything remotely close to a journalist short of Meet the Press. He asks tough questions, and when McCain tries to dodge an issue Letterman doggedly returns to it. He really shone, and it’s a very interesting conversation.
Likewise, if you watch the two Palin skits on SNL what stands out is how careful SNL was not to let her use the opportunity to come off as too funny or charming. In the opening sketch she’s quite stern -- it’s Fey (as usual) that is funny. And in the news segment -- definitely worth a look if you missed it -- a very pregnant Amy Poehler does a rap about Palin (with the governor sitting in tow) that slams her for connecting Obama and William Ayers and has Poehler at one point repeatedly shooting a guy in a moose costume. Incredibly funny -- but very much at Palin’s expense.
McCain told Letterman Palin would come on his program. Stay tuned -- that could be interesting.