Saturday Night Live is evidently finding its own way to honor the late senator John McCain — by re-airing the 2002 SNL episode which he hosted. The episode airs tonight on NBC at 11:30PM, eastern time. McCain said at the time that he had gone on Saturday Night Live in an effort to connect with young people who, he said, might not make time to watch the Sunday morning talk shows or C-Span. He said in the opening monologue for that episode, “they tell me I’m the first sitting senator to ever host this show,” adding, “They asked President Bush but apparently he doesn’t like to work on weekends.”
McCain Also Made a Hilarious — and Humble — Guest Appearance on SNL in 2008
McCain made a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live years later, in 2008, when he was running for president against Barack Obama with running mate Sarah Palin. McCain was fighting a losing campaign against Barack Obama at that time — but the Arizona senator was not afraid to poke fun at himself and at his campaign’s struggles.
NBC won’t be re-airing that episode tonight, but you can see a clip of McCain appearing with Tina Fey, in her unforgettable role as Sarah Palin, here:
The episode features McCain and Palin (played by Fey) appearing on QVC in a last-ditch attempt to sell voters on their ticket. But of course, since this is QVC, they’re also stuck trying to sell merchandise — like a commemorative Joe the Plumber doll, a Joe Sixpack figurine, and a collection of blank plates to commemorate the town hall debates McCain had tried to organize against Barack Obama. (The debates never took place, which is why the plates are blank.)
McCain says, “Would I rather be appearing on all four networks? [instead of shilling products on QVC] Of course! But I am a true Republican: a maverick without money.” Meanwhile Palin goes off to the side to try and woo voters, pledging that in 2012 she’ll either be making her own presidential bid or will be running her own talk show.
McCain Also Talked Campaign Strategies with Seth Meyers on Weekend Update
In that same episode, McCain also appeared on “Weekend Update,” with Seth Meyers, where he talked about new strategies for his election. By that point, his campaign was faltering and lagging behind Barack Obama’s, and the Arizona senator admitted — with admirable comic grace — that he might need a new strategy.
He said, “You know how people call me the maverick? I thought I might try a strategy called the reverse Maverick, where I do whatever anyone tells me. If that doesn’t work, I go to the double maverick, where I just go totally berserk-er and freak everyone out.”
Meyers wasn’t thrilled with that plan.
Then McCain came up with some alternative ideas.
“I might try a strategy I call the sad grandpa,” he said. “Come on, Obama’s going to have plenty of changes to be president — it’s my turn. Vote for me.”
Or, he said, he could try “the Forest Gump, where I just start jogging across America and everything works out.”
He also suggested “the Rocky 4, where I live alone in the wilderness, pull a sled through the snow until I’m in peak physical condition.”
“How will that help?” asks a confused Meyers. “It won’t” says McCain. “But if I ever have to fight Vladimir Putin, I’ll be ready.”
Finally, McCain says, “My basic strategy is the one I’ve stuck with since I started this campaign. Connect with the voters. Talk to them about the issues. Stand behind my record of service to this great country.”
“And I that doesn’t work?” asks Meyers.
“Probably the devil maverick,” says McCain, smiling.