The Running Mate

August 15, 2012
“Saturday Night Live’s” Bill Hader, left, and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, right. Note the resemblance.

Now that we know who Mitt Romney’s running mate is, it’s time to address the more pressing matter at hand: Who will play Paul Ryan on “Saturday Night Live”?

Politics — presidential elections especially — is where “SNL” is supposed to shine. (Tina Fey’s Emmy-winning Sarah Palin, Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush, Darrell Hammond’s Bill Clinton, etc.)

Since Barack Obama was elected, however, “SNL’s” political sketches have been less than memorable. Fred Armisen’s Obama is as stale as it was on day one. And there isn’t much to say about Jason Sudeikis’ Joe Biden or Romney except that they exist.

With Sudeikis (assuming he decides to return to the show) as Romney, that leaves just two cast members who could conceivably play Ryan: Bill Hader or Taran Killam.

Both are ace impressionists, but Hader has the edge, based on looks and seniority. Plus, he’d be more likely to take Ryan to weird, dark places. On the other hand, Killam does share Ryan’s doe-eyed, all-American appeal.

Alas, in this race, there can only be one winner, and I vote for Hader. He’s more than earned his spot on the “Saturday Night Live” campaign trial.

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