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Win some and lose some
1 November 2004 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This collection of political parodies from "Saturday Night Live", broadcast the Sunday (!) before the elections is hosted by all three 1992 presidential candidates. Two of them are portrayed by Dana Carvey, who was the king of SNL at that time. He even won an Emmy in the category "Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program" for this show, even though there is only about ten minutes of new material. But when neither Bush nor Perot was elected, Phil Hartman, always content just to be part of the repertoire, finally got center stage as Bill C.

The bridge sequences are actually the weakest part of this Election Bash, with George Bush The First being portrayed as a pathetic whiner, repeatedly begging the audience (and his opponents) to vote for him. The only two things they had on Bill Clinton at this early stage were his 'I did not inhale' routine (the one he perfected over the next eight years) and of course his great love of sax. Ross Perot on the other hand was a big cartoon character all by himself, so he could be taken to the limit: cutting off old sketches when they 'stopped being funny' or fast forwarding past the boring bits.

The fact that SNL has always been a topical show often makes it difficult for new viewers to appreciate the classic episodes when they don't understand the points of reference. Therefore it's a good thing they added little dates to all the clips. Still, I have no idea what the deal was with Jimmy Carters brother Billy (portrayed by Gary Busey). Jon Lovitz is hilarious as Michael Dukakis, another contender history forgot. Seeing this back makes you wonder what a comedy goldmine was lost to the world (and Lovitz especially) when Dukakis was defeated.

Of the former presidents, both Randy Quaid and Phil Hartman appear as Ronald Reagan, Dan Aykroyd does a great Nixon (and an okay Carter) while Chevy Chase plays himself as Gerald Ford. The final segment is devoted to Dana's Bush impression during 'the first term', complete with voter appreciation statistics. This brings us back to the present where Bush Sr. is still on his knees when the three candidates take a bow (with an uncredited David Spade as Perot in the wide shots). Soon after the elections the entire bash became as dated as the skits it featured, but that's the way it goes with political satire.

7 out of 10


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