SNL Paterson Skit Offends Blind
New York Governor David Paterson didn’t see the humor in SNL’s parody.
Gov. Paterson didn’t see the humor in a “Saturday Night Live” bit that mocked his blindness.
During the “Weekend Update” segment of NBC’s irreverent comedy show, actor Fred Armisen played Paterson, imitating his wandering eye, gravelly voice and blunt, self-effacing demeanor. But Paterson and advocates for the visually impaired didn’t appreciate stock blind jokes that had Armisen pretending to be disoriented and wandering aimlessly.
“I can take a joke,” Paterson told reporters.But he called the SNL spoof a “third-grade depiction of people and the way they look” that could lead others to believe that “disability goes hand-in-hand with an inability to run a government or business.”
It was a rather odd sketch. SNL’s writers cleverly set the stage for it, though, by running nothing but lousy sketches between Hugh Laurie’s opening monologue and the “Weekend Update” segment. By that point, anything would have seemed funny.