A “cultural breakthrough” is Sullivan’s description of the Saturday Night Live skit in which Senator John McCain challenges Chuck Hagel to agree to fellate a donkey on the orders of Benjamin Netanyahu for the security of Israel:
After being banished from earnest Washington discussion for decades by various press gate-keepers, the absurdly overblown power of the Greater Israel lobby is now seeping into the popular culture.
Good point. Even friends of mine who don’t know the issue are fulminating about the Hagel hearing. And remember that those gatekeepers and lobby pooh-poohers included the Atlantic Magazine, David Remnick, Leon Wieseltier, Leslie Gelb, Walter Russell Mead, Jeffrey Goldberg, among other eminent journalists.
Lots of folks have asked why the skit did not run in the actual broadcast last Saturday night. I am told that the dress rehearsal goes on two hours and that a lot of material gets cut– not always for time reasons. Here is one explanation of the SNL method:
The SNL dress rehearsal begins at 8:00pm with an [audience] arrival time at the studio of 6:30pm. The SNL live show begins at 11:30pm with an arrival time at the studio at 10:00pm. Each show has a different studio audience. The rehearsal is recorded to tape and is used for backup in case the live show cannot air. Many skits in the rehearsal do not make it into the live SNL show. Many fans prefer to see the rehearsal because it’s more relaxed and enjoyable and some of the best skits have been cut-out in the live show because they are too risque for NBC execs.
Thanks to Peter Voskamp.