SNL was at its best last night, under the helm of host Jimmy Fallon. I’m a big fan, but last night was a primetime worthy performance. Michael Bublé has some chops, what a chirp. The Today Show skit above is now one of my faves. It was a stitch!

In the news, Vaclav Havel passes. The Times report puts “writer” first, which as a writer myself, reminds me of the power a select few people of the written word possess. That the best writers have at their soul something that drives all of us to impact our corner of the world. What Mr. Hamel was above to do is the stuff of true historic greatness.

Vaclav Havel, the writer and dissident whose eloquent dissections of Communist rule helped to destroy it in revolutions that brought down the Berlin Wall and swept Havel himself into power, died on Sunday. He was 75.

It says something about America that Mr. Havel is not being celebrated as Christopher Hitchens was upon his death.

On the payroll tax cut extension:

The White House would not discuss the “sausage-making” of the payroll tax deal. But a former Obama administration official who has knowledge of how negotiations with the Hill work, said, “We’d use Reid as a primary negotiator in the end game.” …

“The White House gives him a lot of latitude on what the end game should look like,” the official said.

[…] A GOP Senate aide familiar with the payroll tax extension talks said the president “could not have been more separated from the talks.” “He was the most detached person from this process of any of the major players,” the aide said.

“Detached” is reminiscent of George H. W. Bush, with Barack Obama having the same removed relationship with the American people as Bush 41.

Oh, and what would Christmas be without another Republican sex scandal?

But the most noteworthy political report is compliments of Newt Gingrich, who channeled is inner un-American dictator yesterday with reporters.

Newt Gingrich says as president he would ignore Supreme Court decisions that conflicted with his powers as commander in chief, and he would press for impeaching judges or even abolishing certain courts if he disagreed with their rulings.

“I’m fed up with elitist judges” who seek to impose their “radically un-American” views, Gingrich said Saturday in a conference call with reporters.

It was never whether Gingrich would say something incendiary or stupid, encapsulating his unpresidential persona, it was about when.

Now you know why I never bought into his presidential contest, even as some progressives, including big new media sites, started believing in the notion. This terrific graphic from TPM says it all.