July 20, 2008 6:30 PM
It's an election year, so it's no surprise that the 2008 campaign dominated a panel featuring Lorne Michaels and several cast members of NBC's "Saturday Night Live."
Among the nuggets of election (and non-election) news gleaned from the 30-minute session:
—If Barack Obama were willing to guest host "SNL," would Mr. Michaels say yes? "Absolutely," he said.
—Mr. Michaels said his donation to the primary campaign of Sen. John McCain doesn't color the comedy on the show. "I did give to his campaign. But I give to pretty much any former hosts who run for office," he joked.
—Fred Armisen jokingly defended himself against critics who question the idea of a non-black man impersonating Sen. Obama. "I grew up in a hippie commune," he said. "And things are pretty loose there. My dad told me we really don't know who my mom is."
—Mr. Michaels said Amy Poehler will stay with "SNL" until she gives birth, "which hopefully will be right after the election." The producer said he doesn't expect to lose any other cast members this season. He does plan to add two, or possibly three, contributors to the cast.
—Any more "Laser Cats" in the future of "SNL"? "I think everybody hopes so," said Andy Samberg.
—"Being off the air in an election year was unbelievably frustrating," Mr. Michaels said, referring to the hiatus forced by the writers strike.. "It made me realize how precious it was to just have this job and be on the air."
—Hey, Lorne, whatcha think of the whole Jay Leno-NBC thing? "I so have so little to say about that," Mr. Michaels said, adding later: "I only work there."