Saturday Night Live Skewers 'Undercover Sharpton'

Sunday, 13 Apr 2014 05:07 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Live, from New York, it's ... Al Sharpton?

Not really. Instead, veteran Sharpton impersonator Kenan Thompson pulled on a large, long wig to portray him in a "Saturday Night Live" segment, "Undercover Sharpton," as the show poked fun at last week's revelations that the MSNBC commentator and activist had been an FBI informant in the 1980s.

The real-life Sharpton admits he was an informant but says his role as a snitch was exaggerated, and news didn't come out about his role as an informant on leaders of the Genovese crime family until recently, although he'd worked with the FBI for several years.
Thompson's SNL "Sharpton," though, was none too subtle, reports the New York Post.

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"The first rule of espionage is to keep it real low key" Thompson's "Sharpton" told a barmaid during the skit. "That’s why I wore this floor length leather duster and a large, Cadillac medallion.”

He then targets a couple of men sitting near the bar, asking them if they want to "get down to business."

"Business, huh? Ok. You heard it’s snowing outside?" one replies, while tapping his nose and miming snorting cocaine.

"Snowing?" exclaims "Sharpton." “It’s June! I came here to get some cocaine!"

He also brings the wrong briefcase to the "job," carrying one with caramel corn and demo tapes and not the one with recording equipment.

Records obtained by The Smoking Gun show that information gathered by Sharpton was used by federal investigators to help secure court authorization to bug two Genovese family social clubs, including Gigante’s Greenwich Village headquarters, three autos used by crime family leaders, and more than a dozen phone lines.

But the real-life Sharpton denies any such thing happened. He said he cooperated with a 1980's federal probe into New York organized crime but lashed out at media reports labeling him a mob turncoat, saying he had never been a criminal.

Sharpton told reporters that the city's main tabloids, the Daily News and New York Post, were mistaken when they published cover stories that labeled him a "mob snitch" and "Rev Rat."

"I was not and am not a rat, because I wasn't with the rats," Sharpton told reporters outside the Harlem headquarters of his group, the National Action Network. "I am a cat. I chase rats."

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