With this season's addition of standup comic Jay Pharoah — whose uncanny impression of the Chief Exec became a YouTube sensation — SNL had the perfect excuse to unseat Armisen, who's never found his voice as Obama. But clearly, the politics at 30 Rock are almost as complicated as those at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and exec producer Lorne Michaels chose to stay the course with Armisen. Replacing him wouldn't have been unprecedented — Phil Hartman handed off Bill Clinton to Darrell Hammond, and no fewer than three cast members attempted to follow Will Ferrell as George W. Bush.
The prez didn't even make an appearance in the season premiere, and he was little more than a bit player in this week's opening sketch, a farewell showcase for Andy Samberg's Rahm Emanuel. Meanwhile, Pharoah — whose hilariously fresh impression of Will Smith was last week's highlight — barely got any screen time. His fellow newcomers Vanessa Bayer and Paul Brittain scored as Miley Cyrus and Johnny Depp, but SNL missed another opportunity by not using Kanye West in any bits. To quote Kenan Thompson's Deandre Cole, what up with that?
Do you think SNL should elevate Pharoah to the Presidency?
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