SECOND CITY’S DEBATE ’96, Second City. I suppose every age deserves the satire it gets. A sharp-witted, informed, opinionated age gets sharp-witted, informed, opinionated satire. A lazy, strategy-obsessed, television-besotted age gets a show like Second City’s Debate ’96, in which only the easiest targets–Bob Dole’s grouchiness, Bill Clinton’s cupidity, Ross Perot’s ears–are lampooned.

Which is not to say Debate ’96 isn’t diverting. Joe Keefe does one hell of a Perot, and just hearing him yammer in that weird Texan twang is a treat. And Jeff Rogers and Charlie Hartsock aren’t bad as Clinton and Dole, though I get the feeling they spent more time on their hair than on researching their characters. But the press materials promising “up-to-the-minute satire” led me to expect something more than warmed-over bits about Clinton’s love for Big Macs and an actress in a brown wig bouncing around onstage, chanting “Go Liddy! Go Liddy! Go Liddy!”

— Jack Helbig