Liberals and conservatives both wonder about ‘SNL’ unaired riff on Hagel’s Israel comments
Republican dissatisfaction with former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s (R-NE) feelings toward Israel took center stage in an unaired Saturday Night Live skit that has stirred up some questions online.
The skit, which was written as an opener for the show, was performed at dress rehearsal but never made air and was posted online on Saturday. But both progressive and conservative sites have begun speculating as to why it is only available online.
“It is not hard to imagine the pearl clutching and cries of outrage (Outrage, I tell you!) had this skit gone out on the airwaves, depicting the blatant pandering and ridiculousness of the dialogue in Washington surrounding the hearing on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to the position of Secretary of Defense,” wrote Crooks & Liar’s Nicole Belle.
Meanwhile, Mike Opelka at The Blaze wrote that, “Judging from the lack of laughter from the audience during the most questionable parts of the Senate hearing sketch, this might have been cut based on lack of laughter as well as bad taste,”
The skit portrayed Hagel (Jason Sudeikis), President Barack Obama’s nominee for the post, being grilled at his Senate confirmation hearing over a 1998 Washington Post interview in which he said that, though he supported the U.S.’ close relationship with Israel, the two countries’ interests would not “always be identical.”
“I like you, senator. I do. You’re a good man,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (Bill Hader). “But when I read that statement, I thought to myself, ‘Is this a typo? Are my eyes deceiving me? I mean, does he really think that our interests and those of Israel could ever be different?'”
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) (Kenan Thompson) told Graham, “As an African-American Republican from South Carolina, love of Israel is in my blood,”; and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (Taran Killam) said, “You get an urgent call from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who is truly one of the greatest men in this or any age — and he says to you, ‘It is vital to Israel’s security that you go on national television that night and perform oral sex on a donkey.’ Would you do that for Israel?”
“I don’t think so,” a flustered Hagel answers.
“Then I regret to say, Senator, I cannot support your confirmation,” McCain replies. Immediately, Scott said, “I’d do it for Israel — bring me the donkey!,” leading to the other lawmakers at the panel begin expressing their love for Israel in increasingly outlandish terms.
“Do I need to be here?” Hagel asks, before leaving the hearing.
Watch the unaired skit, posted on Hulu on Saturday, below.
[h/t Rania Khalek]
[Correction: This piece originally identified Hagel as a senator from Iowa.]