SNL Limbaugh Drug Skit Controversy

DRUDGE REPORT 2004®

Photo:NBC's comedy depiction of talkradio king Rush Limbaugh passed-out in vomit from drug abuse ignited backstage outrage at SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. NBC’s comedy depiction of talkradio king Rush Limbaugh passed-out in vomit from drug abuse ignited backstage outrage at SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.

The animated sketch left one senior production source stunned and outraged, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. “Would we have done this to [John] Belushi? [Chris] Farley?” the source said on Sunday from New York. The source asked not to be identified fearing retribution from SNL’s executive producer Lorne Michaels.
“We’ve had more fu**ing drug addicts on this show through the years… more tragedy. I have lost count. Did we ever have some laughs about Robert Downey Jr.’s serious drug addiction?”

The crass montage which aired on NBC featured Limbaugh vomiting from drugs on a bathroom floor, in an apparent overdose. Last year, Limbaugh announced to his radio audience that he was seeking treatment for an addiction to pain medication.

Truly bizarre. I typically TiVo SNL and watch the opening skit and then fast forward, stopping for Weekend Update and any political sketch. I actually turned it off this week halfway through the opener, which consisted of some incredibly lame potty jokes that were apparently written by a 9-year-old.

Further, as I noted at the time Limbaugh’s addiction was revealed, becoming addicted to prescription pain medication is hardly comparable to being a coke addict. Surely, one can have sympathy for someone, even one whose politics one disagrees with, who needs strong medicine to deal with an injured back. Taking illegal substances for recreational purposes is somewhat less laudable.

Michelle Malkin has more on the skit, which was apparently crude and unfunny even aside from the Limbaugh material.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Forget the target of the skit–any “comedy” that includes passing out in one’s own vomit tends to automatically equal “not funny” on my comedy-o-meter.

    And the points about Belushi and Farley are well taken.

  2. Frank J. says:

    I haven’t seen the sketch in question and am not going to defend it, but I do remember a cartoon that made fun of Robert Downey Jr.’s and Anne Heche drug addictions with a cartoon where they had a detective agency and would solve crimes by stumbling through other people’s houses in a drug-addled state.

  3. ken says:

    Making fun of a drug addict who makes fun of other drug addicts is actually pretty good material for comedy. I did not see the skit but given that it was SNL I would bet it was indeed pretty funny.

  4. denise says:

    “Crude and unfunny” is an apt description for most of those Robert Smigel cartoons. He wants to be Parker/Stone, but misses nearly every time.

    I saw part of Blue Christmas, enough to think Michelle Malkin didn’t get it. When Santa calls a little girl a bigot because she says she believes in God, that’s not an indictment of red-state values. It’s mocking the blue-state confusion between “liberalism” and anti-religion (or at least anti-Christianity).

  5. Dave says:

    The same (incoherent) Smigel piece poked fun at Moby, Al Franken, Natalie Merchant, and Margert Cho. By SNL standards, it was remarkably balanced.

    In my opinion, drug abuse is a lifestyle choice worthy of ridicule.

    Please don’t waste your time defending a hypocritical junkie.

  6. dondo says:

    Comedy on SNL — in bad taste? I’m shocked! Shocked! …perhaps that is why I haven’t watched it in over a decade. Or perhaps it’s just that I don’t find the show funny.

    In any event, it should be noted that there is a difference in kind here. None of the other celebrities listed have made scathing attacks on the moral weakness of drug addicts, which Limbaugh did. If you put yourself in a position of spokesman for morality, then you deserve public mockery if you reveal yourself so clearly as a hypocrite.

  7. Wes Roth says:

    I have the video clip on my site…

  8. Sgt Fluffy says:

    Even on drugs….Rush is still right

  9. anjin-san says:

    >Further, as I noted at the time Limbaugh’s addiction was revealed, becoming addicted to prescription pain medication is hardly comparable to being a coke addict

    I don’t think anyoneone at an NA meeting would agree with you. An addict is an addict. All are deserving of compassion.

    It is notworthy that Limbaugh himself displayed no compassion for addicts in his public comments. (At least none that I am aware of).

    Personally I do not see it as a good subject for humor…

  10. Mandy More says:

    There is a huge difference between those whom have died from drug addiction and someone who is holier than thou & full of judgement towards others. It’s always funny to see the supposedly rightous fall! Down Rush Down!!!!!

  11. Brian says:

    I agree with Dave, he poked fun at both sides. It thought the skit was funny. I was very impressed with the animation.

  12. Anne W. says:

    Rush has made millions of dollars by leading Conservatives in moral masturbation sessions where conservatives got a macabre thrill from reveling in the suffering of others. This guy has made millions basking in the misfortune of others. I’ll never forget how he made fun of Kitty Dukakis for her addiction. Limbaugh’s drug abuse is a lifestyle choice worthy of ridicule. Please don’t waste your time defending a hypocritical druggy.