Saturday Night Live: Bridging the Blue/Red Divide?

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Saturday Night Live: Bridging the Blue/Red Divide?

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P  olitical commentaries have always held a premiere platform on Saturday Night Live. They serve as the basis for their cold opens, the first sketch before the host is introduced, and the main plotline for their Weekend Update where two hosts, Michael Che and Colin Jost, joke about the major news of the week.

While the other skits that steer clear of political premises compose a significant portion of the hour and a half show, the skits that garner the most attraction are the ones that hit right at the national government. With such a tense political atmosphere, it appears that Saturday Night Live has the ability to make Americans laugh at, and in spite of, themselves.

 All the notable characters in the Drumpf administration have endured the merciless mocking on part of the SNL cast. From Alec Baldwin leading the way as “The Donald” himself, to Melissa McCarthy’s breakout role as the contentious Sean Spicer, the show has built a parallel world to stand against the bizarre realities Americans are witnessing. Saturday Night Live has provided a comic relief to those who often find it hard to laugh at the true state of governmental affairs. Late night show hosts such as Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers poke fun the Drumpf and his staff fairly often. However, what Saturday Night Live is able to do is caricaturize the national scandals and divisive actions that the White House presents. Masterfully executed, many of the skits change  little of what actually occurred. Exaggerating already outlandish statements, such as when Sean Spicer denied that the White House’s immigrant travel ban was in fact a ban, Melissa McCarthy, as well as the rest of the cast, makes fun of what already can be considered funny.

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It is this satire of an already chaotic and unconventional dynamic of politics that is well needed in America. Viewers laugh at events that angered them days ago. Americans are able to take a break from petty arguments over Facebook and Twitter and enjoy the wit and irony that craftily goes into each hit political skit. While these sketches are not enjoyed by all — Drumpf’s tweets show his contempt for them, to say the least — they aren’t always leaning left. Those who voted for Hillary, and staunchly oppose the current White House administration, are made fun of as well. The sketch of an advertisement for a secluded city made for progressive liberals to escape the horrors of #MAGA fanatics, or any Drumpf voters, aim at the narrative of liberals being thin skinned and close minded to opinions that don’t align with their own. Again, liberals are taunted in a sketch where a dog’s mind can be translated by scientists, but he is consistently shut down because the scientists don’t believe in Drumpf.

While they say laughter is the best medicine, it is also a great unifier. These skits remind us to put our differences aside and work to help the country while we can, because the situation could always be worse.

Image courtesy of Variety. Videos courtesy of Saturday Night Live YouTube Channel.

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