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September 4, 2015

I miss the media-friendly John McCain - VIDEOS

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 4th 2008 11:18AM
McCain on SNLOn the eve of John McCain's speech to the RNC tonight, the New York Times has an article about how the Arizona senator has gone on the attack against the news media, who at one time he openly courted. For example, he threw a birthday party for himself at the 2004 RNC, which was attended by a number of members of the media elite.

But I don't care about how McCain treated the news media then compared to what he does now (well, I do, but not for the purposes of this post). What I really miss is the McCain that could have fit in well on stage at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater.

When you see the uptight McCain on stage tonight, it's hard to believe that he's been a guest on The Daily Show more often than anyone else, and when he used to go on the show as a mere senator and not the Republican presidential nominee, he'd roll with Jon Stewart's punches as well as anyone. After the jump is video of an appearance in 2002, where he comes out and immediately has his own comment on the previous silly story.

If you recall, McCain also hosted Saturday Night Live that year, and I remember that he did a pretty good job, even when he was given characters to play. In fact, in one of the most ambitious SNL sketches I've ever seen (it's over nine minutes long, and has three sets!) he plays a fantastically-creepy husband who's invading Amy Poehler's personal space in this Lifetime movie parody:

Just like every other candidate, McCain appeared on TDS and SNL this past spring; on the latter, he did a good job of riding the wave of "he's old" jokes that were permeating at the time. But showing up on a show because all of the other candidates have -- Last Comic Standing? -- isn't the same as coming on a show and playing along, like he used to do.

There's a reason for this, of course: because of equal time regulations, any McCain appearance would have to be offered to the other candidates, as well. But that doesn't mean that when McCain does appear on the show, he has to be so tense. And, if he gets elected, he'll stay away from those shows just like any other sitting President has, citing the desire to not sully the dignity of the office. But, heck, just for once, I'd like to see a sitting President host SNL. Maybe McCain can be the first; he can reprise his fantastic "creepy husband" role.

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Joey Geraci

McCain is a conventional conservative Republican now, nothing more or nothing less. His appeal to independents and somewhat conservative Democrats will disintegrate as we get closer to the election and his actual judgment is called into question. Thank God he is being an asshole to the media, as that is the only thing that could get them to get off the bus, so to speak, and truly examine his policies and his many, many mistakes and miscalculations.

I have to say, I like the McCain shown in that interview, even if I don't agree with his policy. I can definitely see someone less liberally inclined voting for that McCain, even if they considered themselves far from a Conservative. The best thing he could do in this campaign is loosen up, and retake some of his past moderate stances. But we all know he is not going to do that. "Country First" is as shallow as it sounds, and he is a pale shadow of the "maverick" that he used to exemplify.

September 04 2008 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let's not forget the great bit with McCain singing in a dress while he tells Streisand to stick to her job and he'll stick to his. The McCain of 8 years ago is greatly missed.

September 04 2008 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is the presidency of the United States of America we are talking about. I do not want to see a candidate of either party dancing with a lamp shade on their head.
Uptight is just fine for me.

September 04 2008 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think many things about the man have changed since he became the nominee. To be in this position, I think he was forced to change a lot of his relaxed and moderate positions.

September 04 2008 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chadwick hansford

McCain is more serious right now because these are serious times and we need serious people. The media back than digged him because he made digs on everyone else. Before the election he made a choice who to side with. However, even though I do not agree with all his policies I still respect him. That respect the media gave him than disappeared with he devoted himself to the Republican ticket. Now most but not all of the media trashes him because he picked the side that wasn't their favorite. It is media bias when you refer to him as uptight McCain. Maybe that's what we need.

September 04 2008 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"When you see the uptight McCain on stage tonight..."

What makes you think he will be uptight?

September 04 2008 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Joel, you'll have to make allowances for us conservatives. We're constantly subjected to barage after barage of attacks from the "cool crowd" Jon Stewert groupies like Annie Wu here at TV Squad and quite frankly... we're sick of it.

If I want snarky politacal commentary about Republicans I'll got to Daily Kos or the Huffington Post.

I also want to thank Big Mike in Cincinnati as he came to my defense just the other day on another so called "TV and entertainment" posting.

Thank you Mike!

September 04 2008 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Patrick's comment
Cincinnati Mike

No problem man. THAT one was a damn street fight, and I'll take my share of the blame. I'm sure that's what Joel is trying to avoid. I like to think this current thread is evidence that we can discuss like grownups. Peace, y'all.

September 04 2008 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rick cokely

lol. I wish I could post pictures, I would totally post that one of the pie chart showing the religions in America with Christianity looking like a big pac-man eating up the other religions with Christian saying "HELP WE'RE BEING OPPRESSED". Not that there is anything wrong with being Christian, but it sure is funny when the "Grand Ol' Party" is claiming that they are constantly being attacked. Just ROFLWAFFLES...

September 04 2008 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allison Solow

I think Joel makes an excellent observation and one that should not be confused with any partisan politics. McCain has lost that relaxed sense of self that characterized his appearances on TV, including the light show - SNL - as well as Meet the Press or Face the Nation. He's looking stiff and tense and unlike the old McCain. If I were one of his advisors, I'd recommend that he get back to that guy, get off message, and give voters a chance to see the familiar McCain that seemed comfortable in his own skin. They should do it before tonight's big speech. Whether you're pro McCain or pro Obama, authenticity and projecting your true self is key to reaching voters.

September 04 2008 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Allison Solow's comment
Cincinnati Mike

That is the dilemma, Allison. Which McCain is the real one? I can tell you that most hardcore Republicans NEVER liked the SNL/Daily Show media darling (other than his military stance.) We like this new guy better, but we're still not sure we trust him. If he goes back to Media McCain, he totally loses his base.

September 04 2008 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm with Joel, I like it when politicians can show their funny side from time to time. When they relax a little and let their hair down so to speak. I thought Huckabee was hilarious on SNL last season. There are alot of memorable moments from Nixon saying "Sock it to me" and Clinton playing saxaphone to W having fun at the annual Press Dinner a couple of years ago. Even when they are on talk shows like Letterman and Leno, politicians can deliver a couple of great lines to make you laugh.

I don't want to discuss political leanings either but a nice Top 5 or 10 of Politicians just being funny would be great.

I think once the election is over, we will see the lighter side of McCain again (whether he wins or not.)

September 04 2008 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cincinnati Mike

Thanks, guys. I can sympathize with Joel...it takes about two replies for this to turn into a screaming match. Here's my question, tho. Do you throw out a story like this, and then tell people to chill, or do you just "not go there"? Do you go for the relevance thing, and cover the topic of the day, i.e. politics, or could the TV column be one place where you can go to escape that grind?

September 04 2008 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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