Post Reports

50 years, three presidents: How impeachment inquiries change the nation

Chief political correspondent Dan Balz on covering two presidential impeachment inquiries. And Elahe Izadi examines the rarefied place in pop culture that “Saturday Night Live’s” Kenan Thompson occupies.
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Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.

In this episode

‘A very political process’: Covering the Nixon, Clinton and Trump impeachment inquiries
Chief political correspondent Dan Balz has covered politics since the 1960s. That means he’s tracked two impeachment inquiries in his tenure — into presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. 

As the country heads into its third impeachment inquiry in half a century, Balz says there’s a long road ahead. “It’s a multi-step process and we’re only at the front-end of it,” Balz says.

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How Kenan Thompson went from child star to indispensable steady hand
“Saturday Night Live’s” Kenan Thompson is hyper-aware of camera positions, timing and the ripple effect his actions have on people trying to do their jobs on set. That serious professionalism, his colleagues tell pop culture writer Elahe Izadi, is the other side to what television audiences see at home — the breeziness of a natural performer who can summon humor everywhere.

It’s a talent that puts him everywhere: as the straight man, the bad guy, the steady anchor in an iffy sketch centered on a newbie. “If you go back and watch some sketches where he’s not supposed to be the one delivering the laughs,” Izadi says, “even in the straight character he’s playing, he’s able to amp everything up.” 

And it’s a commitment that’s helped him become the longest-tenured cast member on a famously challenging show to endure, where comedy icons are molded and tend to leave. 

“I would always represent hard work and dedication and professionalism, and just focus on the fact that the world needs a laugh,” says Thompson, who is entering his 17th season of SNL.

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.