The road to the presidency has been paved with grueling campaign stops, requisite stump speeches and the obligatory fundraising galas. But it's also seen a good number of moments ripe for the late night comedy circuit. From conventions and catchphrases to Big Bird and other malarkey, here are some of the most memorable late night comedy moments of the 2012 election.
Meet the Candidates: Republican Primaries
The primaries introduced voters - and viewers - to a rotating cast of GOP front-runners vying for the presidency. "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno seized on some of the contenders' policy prowess, or sometimes lack thereof, by imagining them as contestants on "Jeopardy!"
Speeches: Playful or Just Plain Odd
During this election, voters were treated to a melange of oratory wordsmithing that ranged from moving and inspirational, to animated and bizarre. Texas Gov. Rick Perry's speech in New Hampshire stood out early on in the primaries for its animated delivery interspersed with a sudden fit of giggles. Although Perry was quick to dispel rumors that he had been under the influence of alcohol or pain medication while delivering the speech, "Saturday Night Live" couldn't resist spoofing the governor's behavior. In a "Weekend Update" installment, Perry’s “SNL” doppelgänger, Bill Hader, said, "I love pizza. And it wasn't until after I ate it that I realized that the pepperonis were Ambiens and the tomato sauce was beer," he said.
Republican National Convention
In addition to the notable apperance of Clint Eastwood, the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla, was marked by the appearance of another force: Tropical Storm Isaac. Republican officials scrapped the first day of the national convention due to the threat posed by the storm, which prompted "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart to take a few jabs at "the land that time forgot." "Daily Show" correspondents fanned across Tampa to illustrate how the city symbolized "what Obama has done to America." From the city's strip club district to the presence of giant palmetto bugs, the message was the same: blame it on Obama.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|RNC 2012 - The Road to Jeb Bush 2016|
"SNL" Gets a New Obama
This election season saw Fred Armisen pass on the torch of impersonating President Obama to Jay Pharoah for “SNL's” new season. For the cold open of "SNL's" season 38 premiere, Pharoah played on Obama's manner of speaking while leveling with the American people: “Well, Election Day is near and things aren’t great. Uhh, the economy is in the tank. Uhh the job market’s horrible. Uhhhhhhh, and now even my foreign policy is under attack.”
"Ann Romney" Talks Sacrifices
Amid fallout from the leaked "47 percent" fundraiser video, Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, spoke out forecefully against GOP critics of her husband's campaign. "This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring," Ann Romney said on a Iowa radio station. "SNL" comedienne Kate McKinnon played Romney’s wife on Weekend Update, and revealed “sacrifices” the campaign has forced her family to make – like missing out on apple picking season.
Presidential Debate: Round One
The first showdown between President Obama and Gov. Romney will forever be remembered as the night Obama took a tumble because he couldn’t handle Denver’s high altitude and had forgotten a wedding anniversary present for his wife. Well, according to “Saturday Night Live,” at least.
During the debate Romney came out swinging against a subdued Obama, challenging him on healthcare reforms and the economy. Obama’s lackluster performance wasn't the only thing that made news. Mitt Romney singled out Big Bird in talking about cutting federal funding for PBS. Not long after, the 8-foot talking bird was perched on “SNL’s” parody news report, where he declined to comment on Romney’s remarks so as to not “ruffle any feathers.”
Vice Presidential Debate
Following the first presidential debate, the stakes were high for both Vice President Joe Biden and GOP running mate Rep. Paul Ryan. Biden and Ryan stepped up to the task, with both candidates quickly playing an aggressive offense while bringing to the table facts, figures, and a few catchphrases. "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon weighed in on the debate with an opening skit that spoofed the two presidential candidates watching their running mates duke it out. Dion Flynn's "Obama" confessed that he coached Biden to use the word "malarkey" when he couldn’t think of anything to say, while Fallon's "Romney" confided that he told Ryan to "just start making up countries" if he got confused.
Presidential Debate: Round Two
An aggressive President Obama strove to make up for lost ground with a feisty second debate performance, challenging Romney over everything from the economy to Libya. “SNL’s” parody of the second debate was a mirror of the actual performance, with Jason Sudeikis’ "Romney" and Jay Pharoah’s "Obama" using every opportunity to interrupt each other. The sketch also made light of moderator Candy Crowley's instant fact-check moment on Libya. When Crowley, played by Aidy Bryant, announced that Obama did indeed use the phrase “act of terror” in talking about the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, it prompted Sudeikis’ Romney to plead “Candy no, no, no, come on. Candy please.”
Presidential Debate: Final Round
The third presidential debate focused on national security and foreign policy, and it also debuted a decidedly more subdued Romney who, as "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart cheekily observed, appeared to be "leaning Obama." Romney signaled common ground with Obama on Syria, Iranian sanctions, defending Israel and the Afghanistan withdrawal date. The Republican challenger's frequent agreement with the the president inspired Stewart to put together a montage of the two presidential candidates performing a duet about the proper course of action in Syria.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
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