'SNL's Obama forced into selfie to make up for Merkel spying

The cold open of "Saturday Night Live" sees President Obama trying to explain his selfie with the Danish prime minister. Then in walks German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Memorable. NBC Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Technology and the president of the United States have something of a 404-prone relationship.

Just as he's trying to get over the stunning debacle of a health care Web site that has more technical flaws than an ice-dancing walrus, along comes the so-called Selfiegate.

This was the moment during the Nelson Mandela memorial service when Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt inveigled both President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron into a selfie .

Some thought this lacked decorum, even though the memorial service was upbeat.

Others suggested the first lady was angry at this juvenile display. So President Obama appeared on "Saturday Night Live" to explain that she wasn't angry at all.

"She was furious," he admitted.

Of course, this wasn't really the president. It was Jay Pharoah masquerading.

In this address, he wanted to get away from the trivialities and talk about health care. The Web site is working better. Which would suggest that it's actually working.

Yet just as he was trying to keep things serious, the slightly wayward sign-language interpreter from his speech last week made a reappearance. His sign language was descriptive, though not strictly a propos.

As he was ushered out, German Chancellor Angela Merkel wandered in.

She explained that the Danish prime minister had been boasting all over northern Europe about her selfie (not entirely untrue, that). Merkel, played by Kate McKinnon. was jealous.

But how could she persuade the president to do her bidding? "I feel like you kind of owe me after that wiretapping my cell phone thing," she purred.

With negotiating tactics like these, he couldn't win. He didn't merely pose for a serious selfie, but a jovial one too.

With all the different technological minefields the president has found in himself this year, he must be hoping for some kind of peace in 2014.

Let's hope that at least his BlackBerry remains in good working order.

 

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