Fred Armisen played Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the cold open for NBC's "Saturday Night Live" last night, and SNL's Bloomberg addressed the Occupy Wall Street matter as an opportunity to present New York City as a trend-setting tourist destination.
"Tonight I want to address the demonstrations currently taking place in Lower Manhattan in what's being called Occupy Wall Street," Bloomberg began. "While these protests began here in New York, they have spread to other cities throughout the globe, proving once again that New York sets the trend and the rest of the world follows. So, with all due respect to Chicago, Los Angeles and London, if you're looking to vent your rage at a system where the richest one percent controls 40 percent of the planet's wealth, there is no better time and no better place than autumn in New York."
The SNL opening sketch was delivered just hours after the Occupy Wall Street movement attracted swelling numbers to Midtown Manhattan's Times Square, as Huffington Post chronicled
on Saturday. The movement's organizers estimated an attendance of roughly 5,000 people, amounting to a challenge for police stationed in Midtown.
With these protester populations on the rise, SNL's Bloomberg did not miss an opportunity to pitch the Big Apple's many attractions.
"The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous, and while you're in town why not cap off the day of protests with dinner at one of New York's many world class restaurants or take in a Broadway show like Mary Poppins, currently at the New Amsterdam Theater," Bloomberg said, smiling anemically. "Whatever you may have heard, I want to make demonstrators as welcome and as comfortable as possible."
Bloomberg then explained the miscue on the delay in clearing the protesters from their encampment in Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park.
"Yet, sometimes things do not go as planned," Bloomberg continued. "This week my office had arranged to clear the park of protesters so the area could be power washed. The protesters became upset, and some went so far as to suggest that the power washing was simply a ruse to break up the demonstration. Nonsense. As all New Yorkers know, various parts of the city are routinely power washed. Power washing is a New York institution and without it the Big Apple would lose its reputation as the world's cleanest and most sanitized city."