Hey, remember ten years ago, when politics were bad and frustrating but didn’t involve, like, the fear of a major existential threat every day? Yeah, we were about to slam into the worst financial crisis in decades, and even most Republicans had finally had it with a lame duck George W. Bush, but we didn’t have to go to sleep at night worried that a tweet would start a nuclear war, or that the White House had somehow become a satellite of Russia. Heck, there was even a little bit of hope on the scene in the form of Barack Obama. 2008 was rough, but hopefully it don’t get no rougher than 2018.
Oh, also, Saturday Night Live had a couple of solid hosts for Weekend Update back then. It’s hard to remember a time when that was possible, but Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers were a fine duo, tossing sharp political jokes back and forth without the smugness or ambivalence you can find in the current hosts. Granted, it was easier to do political comedy back then—Trump and white supremacists and rampant conspiracy-mongering hadn’t quite poisoned the well yet. Still, it was a better segment back then, if only because it was so less frustrating.
If you forget what those days were like, or (in a thought that frightens me) are somehow old enough to be reading this now but were too young to be watching SNL in 2008, you can briefly relive what they were like in this clip from last night’s episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers. Poehler and Meyers got the band back together to run through their old hit Really with Seth and Amy one more time. This time they focus on James Comey’s recent warning to the Democrats about tilting too far into socialism, which, uh, given that dude’s history with warnings (and the political climate of the day), is something that a deserves a good tearing apart. And that’s what happens here, as Poehler and Meyers tap back into the acerbic disbelief of their most fondly remembered Weekend Update routine.