While a guest on the Fox Business Network's Varney & Co. Tuesday morning, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee criticized a skit on the most recent Saturday Night Live program that attacked his daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who serves as deputy White House press secretary for the Trump administration.
“I thought it was a little bit silly, sexist, misogynist -- but you know, my daughter is certainly capable of handling a whole lot worse than that,” he stated. “Here’s what we taught her: that she’s going to be judged by God, not by some not-so-funny comedy writers on Saturday Night Live.”
Fill-in host Ashley Webster began the segment by playing part of the sketch in which comedian Aidy Bryant -- dressed as Sanders -- steps to a podium and declares:
OK, good morning, guys. It’s an honor to be here today.
For those of you who don’t know me yet, my father is Mike Huckabee, and my mother is a big Southern hamburger.
After introducing the former governor, Webster noted: “OK, I mean we all like a good joke, Mike, but what did you think as her father when you saw that?”
“I think because my entire family has lived most of the last almost 30 years in the public eye, you know, you’re kind of immune to it,” he replied.
After describing the skit as “a little bit silly, sexist, misogynist,” Huckabee added: “And the fact is it does not take away in any way from who she really is. She is a great wife; an absolutely wonderful mother to three beautiful preschool children.”
“She’s a generous and thoughtful person who is very charitable in her life; good to her friends,” and should: “Shake it off. Move on. It’s not that big a deal.”
Huckabee isn’t the only person to disparage the skit. According to an article by Kevin Fallon of the Daily Beast website, Chris Cuomo -- co-host of the Cable News Channel’s New Day morning show -- stated:
I will say this: You guys were mean about Huckabee Sanders, You were fat-shaming her. You were talking about how she looks and what she wears. I thought it was mean, not funny.
They had her eating. I thought it was in poor taste. I really did, but that's me.
“Co-host Alisyn Camerota was less bothered by it,” Fallon stated, “but an eavesdrop of the water cooler conversation in The Daily Beast’s New York headquarters Monday morning revealed an overwhelming majority sided with Cuomo, finding the jokes sexist.”
“Regardless of where you fall on the matter of offense, it is certainly lazy to go after a woman’s appearance as the sole source of comedy,” he continued.
“Surely there are other punchlines,” Fallon noted: “Sanders’ brusque, exasperated demeanor, her poor grasp of the meaning of ‘atrocities’ that don’t mock her body image.”
“The devil’s advocate argument -- which isn’t that devilish in this case, to be honest -- is that the outrage over this is overblown,” he noted before stating:
Re-watching the segment, it didn’t seem like the jokes against Sanders were exceptionally mean-spirited, and, aside from the joke about her mother being a Southern hamburger, seemed to steer clear of her weight.
The Popzette staff also hammered the skit:
In a sketch that showed McCarthy’s Spicer retaking his podium at a press briefing, Huckabee is shown as clumsy and dumb, with a particularly over-the-top Southern accent. She’s also seen midway through the sketch, coming from backstage munching on an apple.
Her part in the sketch is small, but it's clear what the messaging is: Huckabee is fat and dumb. Both her weight and her accent were the targets of "humor."
However, on Tuesday Webster also praised Huckabee as “obviously a very proud father, and you know, in one of the [SNL] sketches, it was kind of suggested that she should replace Sean Spicer because, frankly, she does very well so you could take that as a compliment.”
“Well, she does very well,” Huckabee replied, “and I’m grateful for the fact that she’s capable of doing whatever job she’s handed, but she’s not trying to replace Sean Spicer. She loves Sean, respects him, works wonderfully with him and has nothing but high regard for him.”
“She’s happy to do what she’s doing and grateful to be in the White House and serving this president and serving her country,” he continued. “And I don’t think that somebody throwing a dart at her is going to detract her one bit. She’s a whole lot stronger than they think she is.”