Mike Huckabee’s appearance on SNL last night was a complete success for the candidate and for the show.
The bit begins with Weekend Update anchors Seth Myers and Amy Pohler segueing from a previous item into a brief discussion of Huckabee’s unwillingness to leave the race for the presidential nomination. Myers then introduces Huckabee, and inquires why Huckabee remains an active candidate.
A hilarious exchange ensues, with Myers playing the worldly-wise news anchor explaining the term “mathematical impossibility” to Huckabee while Huckabee feigns surprise and good-naturedly plays along as though he hadn’t understood the primary/caucus/delegate/convention system. The bit ends with another gag, in which Huckabee announces that whatever happens, when it’s time for him to exit the contest he’ll know, and that he’ll “exit…with class and grace.” Huckabee then misses several obvious cues that his appearance is over and the players are waiting for him to depart the set.
All in all it was a very clevely written and well-executed bit, and Huckabee pulled it off with great aplomb. He seemed entirely comfortable and he was very well received by the audience.
The best thing about this appearance, though, was the way it poked fun at the conventional wisdom and showed Huckabee to be a humble and humorous fellow, willing to laugh at himself. He hammed it up just enough to be funny, but he didn’t go to Jerry Lewis-land. Hopefully it served notice to the powers that be that Huckabee is staying in the contest for the Republican contest, as he has said, until it’s resolved.