Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ben Affleck as Keith Olbermann on Saturday Night Live

Compare to the real thing:

Ben Affleck got the manufactured hyper shock-to-outrage-to-anger that goes with a Keith Olbermann performance down fairly well. And it must be a performance because no one can be shocked and outraged everyday on demand without it being a performance. However, the writers missed some great opportunities, like Olbermann’s constant, almost every show, obsession with “Bill Oh Really” and his more obscure taste in Twilight Zone metaphors.

The key to Keith Olbermann's act is the movie "Network" and the character of Howard Beale (Peter Finch), "the mad prophet of the airways":

And it's explicit and openly so:

When Olbermann channels Howard Beale he is already exploiting that touch of madness; a man almost driven mad by an insane world. What the writers pulled from the SNL version of Olbermann's performance is the world that drives a credible shock, outrage and anger. Another phony aspect of the skit is the way the guests disagree with Olbermann. That almost never happens on Olbermann's show. Often the guests point out that things are actually worse than Olbermann previously thought.

Yea, they crunched down on Olbermann's self-conscious style, but they couldn't really touch his substance without lying.

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