Tuesday , February 27 2024
SNL's primetime episodes are a joy to behold.

SNL Shines with Political Humor

The world is a truly fascinating place. We all come from different walks of life, have different points of view, see the world very differently, but we can all agree to sit down in front of the nice warm glow of the television and let it shower us with tokens of affection.

Okay, I call them “tokens of affection,” you might call it “the same old pap that we’ve seen before hundreds of times.” Well, maybe you’re right. Maybe you have seen these shows hundreds of times. Maybe little that airs on television is genuinely new or different, but something doesn’t always have to be wholly new to wonderfully good.

Take a gander at last night’s Saturday Night Live primetime special. The night started off with Will Ferrell returning to do his George Bush. The plot of the sketch dealt with Bush wanting to endorse McCain and Palin (Tina Fey again). McCain, obviously, recognized how poisonous such an endorsement was, but Palin was all for it. Oh heck, why am I telling you all about it, just check it out for yourself.

See, did you watch that? That was funny. It wasn’t new, it wasn’t different, and Ferrell doesn’t even do a particularly great Bush impersonation, but it was laugh out loud funny nonetheless.

I’ve always been a fan of SNL, ever since I first realized that the show existed (I think I was in 7th grade). I don’t want to get into a new cast vs. old cast thing, that’s not the point right now. The point is that SNL absolutely excels at political humor. They are there, they are on the spot, they are fast, and they are funny. Some of the impersonations are closer than others, but they almost always seem to capture the basic core of the persona. I can’t imagine it’s an easy task to find the right person to do the impersonation, especially with SNL‘s ever-changing cast, but somehow they make it work.

Am I a little biased about the show having worked in the building and having done menial tasks for the show? Maybe. But, my having been there also means that I’ve gotten a glimpse into what goes on to make it all work, and the amount of effort that people on the show put in is simply incredible, especially when you consider that with these primetime specials they’re actually doing two hours of TV a week some weeks. That’s a lot of comedy to write, a lot of sketches to rehearse, and a lot of impersonations to perfect.

I’m very excited for the upcoming election, I can’t wait to see what happens. Yet, I’m going to be incredibly disappointed when it’s finished, because it’ll mean that SNL will be doing less political stuff for a while.

No matter the outcome of the election, that will truly be a disappointment.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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