Live from New York, it's… Mitt Romney? According to Maureen Dowd's new column, Saturday Night Live head honcho Lorne Michaels has asked the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to guest on one of the last three episodes of the sketch show this season. (It's unclear whether Romney's been asked to host or simply to make an appearance.) Throughout the season and as recently as this weekend, SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis has been impersonating Romney, parodying his stiffness and inability to excite the Republican base. While nearly every presidential candidate has stopped by Studio 8H in recent election cycles — with the notable exception of John Kerry — a presidential candidate hasn't hosted since Steve Forbes in 1996. Of course, Sarah Palin's appearance on the show in 2008 was a cultural watershed moment. Would it be a wise move for Romney to spoof himself on SNL?
He could be quite good: If Romney hosted, it "could be one of the most interesting Saturday Night Live episodes in recent memory," says John Surico at The Village Voice. He's already proven that he can mock his reputation as a bore. While reading the Top Ten list during a funny appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, he jibed that he's "the guy in the picture that comes in your photo frame." An SNL appearance would be the perfect opportunity for Romney to prove that his humor is as accessible as Obama's. "Fingers crossed on the Romney tent's willingness to laugh a little."
"Live from New York… It's Mitt Romney?"
He'd flop: There's no denying Romney's struggle to connect with voters, says Margaret Hartmann at Hollywood. Hosting SNL would only make matters worse. The show's portrayed him as a "square, robotic flip-flopper," and his failure to be relaxed or relatable while campaigning doesn't bode well for his ability to respin that persona. To give himself a true image makeover, Mitt would need to star in a hilariously risk-taking skit — think Rudy Giuliani in drag. It's doubtful Romney would dare go that far.
"Mitt Romney is 'considering' appearing on SNL"
Even if it's a disaster, it would be an arguably wise move: Let's not overpraise Romney's Letterman appearance, says Andre Tartar at New York. Despite his surprisingly natural line delivery, his body language was stiff. To succeed on SNL, Mitt would have to "one-up Sudeikis' Romney with just the right amount of perfectly-timed winking," or play some other, outlandish character. Either way, he'd probably read his lines with such off-putting "eager gusto" that he'd come off as "laced-up and just trying too hard." Still, even if he doesn't land a laugh, merely doing the show would send the message that he's in on the joke, and that's the important thing.
"Mitt Romney is 'considering' appearing on Saturday Night Live"