Neither New York Gov. David A. Paterson nor a leading organization for the blind see the humor in a Saturday Night Live segment sending up the visually impaired politician.
"I can take a joke," Paterson tells the New York Daily News. "But only 37 percent of disabled people are working, and I'm afraid that that kind of third-grade humor adds to [misconceptions]."
As depicted by Fred Armisen on this weekend's show, Paterson needed help facing the right Weekend Update cameras, held charts upside-down and lobbied for exiting Sen. Hillary Clinton to be replaced with an upstate New Yorker, saying, "I'm tired of all these fancy two-eyed smart alecks from the big city running the show." Instead, he endorsed someone who has "something a little off about them. They don't have to be blind [but] with, like, a gamey arm."
The WU segment also referenced Paterson's confessed past drug use. "I'm a blind man who loves cocaine who was suddenly appointed governor [in the wake of the Eliot Spitzer scandal]," Armisen-as-Paterson said. "My life is an actual plot from a Richard Pryor movie." Later, he drifted on-camera during Amy Poehler's emotional farewell to the sketch show.
A spokesman for the National Federation for the Blind also scolded SNL for the skit, saying, "The biggest problem faced by blind people is not blindness itself, but the stereotypes held by the general public."
An NBC had no comment for TVGuide.com on this story.