“Saturday Night Live!” Has Got Its Political Edge Back

Saturday Night Live - Season 41

Three things happened on Saturday night that are worth mentioning today. It’s Us + the World Tuesday, as you may have recalled, and I’m going to be taking a little bit of a different approach to the topic. In light of recent debates and discussions, I believe it’s important for young people, like most of you awesome nerds, start getting involved in politics. Am I forcing you to do this? No. But this is our government, and if you want to live in a society with a government that you like, then I encourage you to vote. If you don’t really care, that’s fine too.

As part of a generation that is filled with technologies and TV shows and movies and all that jazz, it’s likely that some of you have seen the show, “Saturday Night Live!” The show has been known for parodying just about everything, from Shark Tank to Oklahoma farms. Originally, the show did a lot of political parodies, but these issues haven’t been addressed as much as before. When they did, they were still somewhat careful about the things they said instead of hitting the nail directly on the head. Fortunately enough, last Saturday featured a stream of socially questionable (yet incredibly important) sketches that hammer almost every current issue that is happening.

I will be showing the sketches and videos that premiered on Saturday. As for future posts, I hope to be posting videos so it could act as a discussion starter, especially for this topic. For now, I’ll be showing three hilarious sketches that premiered. For those of you who don’t know much about the outside world, here’s the beginning point!

1. Palin’s “Trump Stump” Brings Tina Fey Back to the Stage

As a die-hard fan of both “Saturday Night Live!” and “The 30 Rock Show,” I praise Tina Fey. Regardless, the worst part of my week was seeing a video of Sarah Palin throwing around meaningless words about fire and asses at a Donald Trump rally in Iowa. Apparently, I was not the only one. SNL released this as the cold open featuring a very special guest:

The greatest part about this sketch is that Tina Fey didn’t even have to change half of the speech to reveal how unrealistic and somewhat comical Palin’s words were last week. These discussions are vital, especially now, because Iowa Caucus is coming up soon (which I would advise that you all watch if you have time).

2. #OscarsSoWhite

Before I begin to comment on the racial disparities in the entertainment industry, I want to put my opinion out there about the movies this year (note that they are my opinions): the films have not been very interesting. Definitely not the best year for movies (or music, to be honest) so that may partially explain why the Academy struggles to put anybody up for nominations who isn’t a mainstream actress.

Jennifer Lawrence. Leonardo DiCaprio. Cate Blanchett. These are all names we see everywhere. In addition, all these names were on the Oscars Nomination List (again) but guess what was missing? Every other diverse race besides white. No actor or actress was nominated who was of color or of a different culture, which really just proves the lack of diversity in the mass media at the moment. Compared to two years ago where “12 Years A Slave” and Lupita Nyongo dominated the awards ceremony, cultural acceptance may have actually gone downhill.

And SNL did not hesitate to address the issue. With the “Screen Guild’s Award” being a cop-out of the Academy, the sketch pokes at this very sensitive, yet highly debated topic. Years ago, there were not many African American actors on “Saturday Night Live!” But by using their African American cast to pull out these issues of discrimination in modern day entertainment industry, SNL does a phenomenal job of proving the lack of diversity in the media.

3. Bland Man is Back

If you watch “The Bachelor,” you may like this. A lot.

They did something like this last year with Blake Shelton. And every time they do it, they harp on the same issues, which I don’t think some people are latching onto.

First, “Saturday Night Live!” points out the “very special man” who happens to be the average-day guy you see on the street by putting him on a TV show and showering him
with women and cash. This year, especially, apparently the Bachelor is extremely bland (explaining the title), but SNL goes a step further from that. They point out a noticeable trend that always occurs, which is that the African American candidates tend to go home early. Why? Well, it’s definitely not a coincidence. If the “average-day guy” is sending home women because of the color of their skin, then this is a pretty freaking racist world we live in.  “The Bachelor” may be a crowd-pleaser, but there are a shit ton of undeniable social issues that are covered up with sugar, fluff, and too much drunk drama.

But what top-rated reality show isn’t?

What do you all think? Has the media really changed for the worst? Or is “Saturday Night Live!” just having a little fun?

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