‘SNL’ Twists ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ to Teach Us All About Executive Orders
‘SNL’ has rarely been afraid to wade into current events, so it‘s not surprising that the show took some time to focus on the recent hubbub surrounding new immigration policies and executive orders. And since the show realizes that not everyone is up to date on the political process, it uses the shorthand of the beloved series ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ to remind everyone of the necessary details.
The sketch opens with Kenan Thompson playing a bill. You know, the talking, singing embodiment of an idea that hopes to someday become a law (and whose theme song was probably stuck in your head throughout all of elementary school). However, this bill's hopes and dreams are cut short when President Obama (the always reliable Jay Pharoah) shows up with his new friend, Executive Order (Bobby Moynihan), who proceed to throw Thompson's bill down the capital steps. Repeatedly.
It's a one-note joke, but it has the benefit of being a very funny one-note joke, with everyone involved making it work. Thompson nails the voice from the original cartoon and Pharoah continues having a great time playing the President, but the real standout here is Moynihan, who takes his handful of lines and runs away with them. His response to learning about his own purpose (and his own, much shorter theme song) are particularly funny.