Changing Political Landscape Makes for Good Comedy
March 31, 2017
Filed under Arts
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Live from New York, it’s your weekly dose of Donald Trump and political comedy on Saturday Night! Viewership has never been higher.
Saturday Night Live (SNL) is an iconic, late-night television sketch-comedy show that was created by Lorne Michaels in 1975. The show is known for making parodies of pop culture, politics, and everything in between.
“SNL is creative humor with a taste of connecting the viewer to the real world and the stage,” sophomore Jackson Baer said.
Although SNL has been around for over 40 years and has always been watched by many, it has had a bit of a revival over the past couple months, mainly because of current political drama. This season, the sketch-comedy show has been making fun of the most talked-about political figures, including President Donald Trump, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and most recently, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
These portrayals and the show’s poignant writing have caused a major boost in the show’s ratings.
According to a Feb. 2017 TVLine article, SNL is “having it’s most viewed season in 22 years,” which has been attributed to Trump and his administration taking office.
SNL has recently become more popular around CHS as well. Staff and students have found themselves talking about the show’s political sketches at home and in school.
According to a poll of 52 CHS students, 73 percent find themselves talking about the political comedy on SNL with others.
One reason why SNL has become so popular recently is because viewers like the clever humor that is based on politics and Trumps behavior as both a candidate and now as president. The comedy show has been critiquing both our political leaders and the policies they are trying to implement by putting funny spins on them, making both the politicians and the policies seem laughable.
“They’re a parody, so they are amplified,” AP NSL teacher Paul Jacobson said. “But there has to be truth there in order to make it work. They take Sean Spicer’s meanness and Trump’s outrage and amplify it.”
Some fans find these portrayals entertaining because of their own political views. Others find humor in the things they wouldn’t usually like being made fun of.
SNL has been known to make fun of political figures in the past, but now many think that with Trump and his administration they are taking it to a whole new level.
According to Jacobson, the SNL writers have been harder on Trump’s presidency because his actions and the way he handles issues are so so different from previous presidents.
Many believe that this is why President Trump is such an easy target. The way he reacts to criticism and how he deals with certain situations tends to give SNL plenty of material to work with.
“He can’t laugh at himself,” senior Nick Mason said. “When you laugh at yourself, you show humility. You’re showing people that you know you aren’t perfect.”
Politics has always been known to fuel comedy. But in this political climate, where we are a country divided, people can’t help but watch, both in agreement or just to see what SNL will do next.