Barack Obama

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The TV Weekend: Oscars and SNL

It was Oscar's 80th birthday, but it only felt like Sunday night's show went on for 70 years. (Official count: three hours, 20 minutes.) It’s an annual ritual, beating up on the annual Academy Awards broadcast for being too long, bloated, boring. That can especially be a problem when the show is as free of surprise as this year's was — true, Marion Cotillard's victory over Julie Christie for best actress was unexpected (though well earned), and I loved her gracious and giddy speech (one of the night's few truly memorable and spontaneous moments), but seriously, how many people saw either of their movies?In a year when most of the major film contenders fell something short of cultural phenomena, it's up to the host to make the show relevant and dynamic. Jon Stewart had his work cut out for him, with precious little prep time thanks to the writers’ strike, not to mention the preoccupation of an ongoing, historic presidential campaign that inspired some of his best jokes... read more

Cheers: SNL's Barack Obama Speaks!

Fred Armisen as Senator Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live by Dana Edelson/NBC Photo

Cheers to Saturday Night Live for pulling out all the stops with its first post-strike episode. Fred Armisen's Barack Obama impression was surprisingly subtle: The hardest part, Armisen tells TV Guide exclusively, was "figuring out the volume of his voice. It seems to be a combination of loud and not so loud at the same time. Even when he is being emotional, there is a calmness to him." SNL scored big with delightful cameos from Obama Girl, Steve Martin and Gov. Mike Huckabee (whose future may not lie in the White House but at the Chuckle Hut). Plus, the Annuale commercial parody was an instant classic, and Bill Hader's spoof of Daniel Day-Lewis was dead-on. And how cool was it to see Tina "Bitch is the New Black" Fey return to the real 30 Rock, but this time as guest host? Welcome back, Tina — and SNL!Related:• Saturday Night Live's Ratings? Seriously Good• Read and react to Bruce's opinions on American Idol, Top Model and more!• Share your own raves and rants a... read more

The 2008 Votes: Politics, Survivor and Idol

Survivor: Micronesia's Cirie by Monty Brinton/CBS

One of the more bizarre Thursdays I've spent in front of the TV lately, where it seemed everyone was vying for votes: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in their second historic CNN debate (a lot less warm and fuzzy than the pre-Super Tuesday mutual admiration-fest); Survivor: Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites, where Cirie acted all Miss Ohio (as in: look at me, I'm the swing vote and who I say go, goes); and of course the first results show of American Idol this season, with no real shocks among the departures (if you don’t count the survival of the week's absolute worst singer, Chikezie), because so many of the first week's singers were ripe for the kill. (I'll admit, with so much else on, I zipped through the Idol results in about five minutes; time well saved, I must say.)I expected more fireworks from the Clinton-Obama encounter, but for the most part, they stayed on message and steered clear of what Obama would call “silly season” smears. (When Hillary went after her... read more

SNL's Seeking a Barack Obama for Hire

As Saturday Night Live gears up for its first new episode since November, the show is looking for the right person to play presidential hopeful Barack Obama — as long as they can play "irritating."Exec producer Lorne Michaels told the New York Post, "Three months ago, we would have approached this with a different kind of thinking," But, he continued, "Once you settle in with someone, you start to notice things about them that are mildly irritating."While the show's one black male cast member, Keenan Thompson, had been thought to be the man for the faux campaign, SNL's now holding auditions. So far, the only appearance of an Obama character on the show was by the real thing, when the candidate played himself last fall. — Anna DimondRelated:• Saturday Night Live Returns with Historic Run• Tina Fey to Host First New SNL read more

Obama? Osama? To NBC Employee, Consonants Are Confusing

In another case of confusing those pesky consonants S and B, an NBC employee mistakenly flashed a picture of Osama bin Laden on the screen as MSNBC host Chris Matthews talked about presidential candidate Barack Obama. NBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said, "This mistake was inexcusable." The photo mix-up came during Hardball on Monday, as Matthews teased a segment on the controversy over Obama's use of another politician's words in a speech. A picture of the al Qaeda leader flashed for a moment with the text, "Words About Words."Obama's campaign complained immediately, Matthews apologized moments later and in the rerun episode, the photo was corrected. The network did not disclose the name of the photo-swapping culprit, nor discussed what, if any, consequences the individual is facing. The Obama campaign, meanwhile, has seen this S and B error before, and has already garnered a similar apology from CNN. There was no comment from the Bin Laden camp. — Anna Dimond read more

Obama’s Plagiarized Speech in Question

There was a lot of fuss recently over political hopeful Barack Obama’s “Just Words” speech. The New York Times revealed that much of the language used in this speech was borrowed from Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, and the Clinton camp quickly pounced on this revelation. Patrick, however, appeared on GMA to downplay the issue stating that the accusations are "an elaborate charge and an extravagant one." He also added that they’ve known each other for 15 years and have talked extensively during both their campaigns. Check out the side by side of the two speeches. Your take: Do you think the fact that the two are close friends and that Patrick isn’t phased by the similarities makes it okay? Should Barack have given credit where it was due, or is it a mute point since they both cited from MLK, FDR, JFK and the Declaration of Independence? read more

“Yes We Can” Spoof

There have been a slew of parodies of Obama’s “Yes We Can” music video by Will.i.am. But we have to say this one is exceptionally well done. The entire video digs at McCain’s platform, including his well known “Bomb, Bomb Iran” joke. The execution is hilarious, especially with all those confused faces looking bewildered by the lyrics they’re singing (and the man hyperventilating into a brown paper bag is classic). read more

This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Election

24 states, 1 nation—It’s gonna be mayhem out at the voting booths today! That’s right; Super Tuesday is upon us and it’s time for the gloves to come off. But imagine if the election was decided with some healthy gladiator-style competition… perhaps some jousting? Let this hard-core mash-up featuring the frontrunners (alongside the Hulkster) be our unique way of reminding you not to forget to vote today! Watch it now! | More online videosYour take: If push came to shove, which candidate looks like they would be the fiercest Gladiator of them all? read more

Presidential Candidates Sing Some Bowie

Quick…what’s the one most overused word in any presidential candidate’s vocabulary? If you said “changes,” give yourself a pat on the back. In light of this favorite buzzword, we stumbled upon this video of all your beloved candidates giving their schpeels while set to a little tune you may recognize by David Bowie. Ladies and gentlemen, we present you with the presidential candidate’s rendition of “Changes.” read more

Could the Conventions Be This Summer's Reality Hit?

Hillary Clinton courtesy CBS

Who knew that the 2008 race for the White House would become a hot network prime-time show? NBC is likely to join CBS and ABC in expanding the number of hours they devote to covering Super Tuesday on Feb. 5, the day when 24 states will have primaries or caucuses to help choose a party ominee. "Everyone has been surprised at the public's level of interest," one network news exec tells The Biz. "But if there wasn't a writers' strike, would we be having this conversation?"Maybe not. It probably wasn't a tough choice for CBS to pull a repeat episode of The Unit to give Katie Couric an extra hour to cover what will be a fairly complex story, as the distribution of delegates based on the voting results can vary by state.But if the 2008 race continues to be a battle royale between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, and Sen. John McCain is still fighting it out with Mitt Romney in the GOP race, the broadcast networks may find themselves closer to reversing an... read more

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The Inauguration of Barack Obama: A Moment in History
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