The Petraeus Scandal -According to Weekend Update

I love Saturday Night Live. Not a popular show here in Indo (though we had its local version in the star studded short lived Extravaganza a few years back), but always enjoyed it whenever I got the chance to watch. And it has been a very long time since the last time I did. After learning that my current celebrity crush, Kristen Wiig left the show by the end of last season, I downloaded the episode, and as predicted, got hooked again.

Since being an avid serial collector, watching every single episode should be the appropriate thing to do, though of course, catching up on 37+ seasons is quite impossible to achieve. And of course, most of the jokes may not be as relevant as the latest episodes. So, I just take the easier way: watch every single episode, starting from this season -which is even getting easier since there has only been 8 episodes so far.

My favorite sketch has always been Weekend Update. Since the Jimmy Fallon – Tina Fey days, even some classics of Chevy Chase bits I saw on DVD. The reason is as simple as, the brilliance of the SNL writers are shown truly and fiercely on this sketch alone more than any other during the show. It’s mocking politics, social, current issues, and American culture at its core in a very sarcastic and brainy-sexy manner (I miss Fey and Poehler’s duo). Especially this 38th season starts off during the final days of the Presidential election campaign and debates, WU is on fire!

This season marks the seventh season where Seth Meyers anchored the news sketch, and the fifth of him anchoring solo -previously with Amy Poehler. Being the anchor, and the series’ head writer, it’s just obvious that Meyers is the actual brain behind all the genius that is Weekend Update’s hunger for public figure bashing. The latest target? Former US Army General and Director of CIA, David Petraeus. For those of you who haven’t been following the Petraeus Scandal, this is the cliffs note: General Petraeus had an affair with her biographer, Paula Broadwell, and strings of affairs between officers and brunettes are cracked wide open. Google it, you’ll learn more.

Weekend Update’s take on this subject? Here you go…

This week, the government launched a sexy new reboot of “You’ve Got Mail”. David Petraeus and his alleged mistress, Paula Broadwell reportedly used a trick popular by terrorist cells by leaving untraceable messages for each other in a draft folder of a shared e-mail account. And in another trick borrowed from terrorists, it blew up in their faces.
It was revealed that a shirtless photo of an FBI agent sent to Jill Kelley was not intended to be flirtatious, but instead was a joke photo of the agent standing shirtless next to two target dummies. Oh, that doesn’t make it better.
The Petraeus Scandel continues to widen this week. As to any scandal of this nature, there are certainly losers but also some winners, which means it’s time for “Winners/Losers”.

  • Winner: Whoever writes the *next* biography of David Petraeus. Which biography should I read, the one written before all this stuff happened or the one written after? Reading the Broadwell biography now would be like reading Batman right up until his parents were killed. “And then they all walked in into the alley, one big happy family. The End.”
  • Loser: All other biographers. For the next ten years, if you tell someone you’re writing a biography, expect them to say, “Huh, yeah, nice.”
  • Winner: General John Allen. Yes, he may have to leave his job over an inappropriate e-mail to Jill Kelley, but his job *is in* Afghanistan. Well played. By the way, Jill Kelley, get ready for dirty e-mails from every soldier in Afghanistan.
  • Loser: Jill Kelley. You’ve been referred to as a Tampa Socialite and an unpaid social coordinator, both of which sound like 1920 slang for “prostitute”. “Better stay away from her, fella. I hear, she is a ‘Tampa Socialite'”.
  • Winner: “Homeland”. Just when your plot twist were starting to get a little far-fetched, this story shows up and makes you look like a documentary.
  • Loser: People trying to have affairs in the digital age. It’s official, you can’t get away with it. The *head* of the CIA couldn’t get away with it. For real. For real. That flirting you’re doing in the chat section of “Words with Friends” is going to ruin your life.
  • Winner: People who had affairs in the pre-digital age. Man, you guys had it easy before internet and cell-phones. In the 60s’, if you could just keep the lipstick off your collars, you can have three families.
  • Loser: Florida. Of course you’re involved, Florida. Of course you are. Anytime there’s a new story about someone’s sordid behavior or bad judgment, it’s just a matter of time before your name comes up. Sex scandals are like Jewish New Yorkers, eventually they all make their way to Florida.


I laughed my ass off during this segment. I think this is the best Weekend Update I’ve seen so far (although, taken from a very limited comparison).  It just showed how great Meyers and his team are. Everybody could make sarcastic remarks about a sex scandal. Here in Indo, we got politicians with small penises, a leading man of a super-band who had affairs with two of the hottest women in the nation, the King of Dangdut (that’s our version of country music: tacky, annoying, marginally popular, and exclusively redneck segmented), and television age raised attention whoring sisters who doesn’t actually have *any* artistic skills (our version of the Kardashians). But I don’t think anybody could actually have the guts to deliver those sarcastic remarks beyond conversations between friends or some social media statuses. Even Extravaganza’s news sketch was based on jokes. That was it. Nobody dared to take a current story about how lousy the top brass are on a publicly exposed level.

I mean, just trying to mirror SNL’s countless Obama vs Romney sketches during the first seven episodes of this season, we could say a lot about the future candidates for our own election in 2014: a crazy woman who refuses to realise that her political blood died with her father, a crazy man who is still arguably responsible for a lot of bad things in the late 90s’, a man who I’m pretty sure would never won the votes of the people in Porong, a man whose the only benefit on the race is being the in law of the current president, and the King of Dangdut (two Rhoma bit in one article -chug!) who thought that leading a country is exactly the same as leading a bunch of old men playing flutes and bongos in flares. There could be countless jokes, and uncanny impersonations.

I digress. What I’m trying to say: there’s a very good example of making a parody, and as a third world country with major hypocrisy of a moral compass, while gossip and news presenters can only go as much. Might as well have fun by laughing together about it.


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