While many Americans were busy quaffing green beer last Sunday for St. Patrick’s Day, our teetotaling president was expressing his displeasure about a once-funny American entertainment institution:
It’s truly incredible that shows like Saturday Night Live, not funny/no talent, can spend all of their time knocking the same person (me), over & over, without so much of a mention of “the other side.” Like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2019
As the weekly target of Saturday Night Live’s “humor,” President Trump’s disgruntlement with the show is understandable. According to a new poll conducted by The Hollywood Reporter and Morning Consult, however, it isn’t just him who has grown weary of SNL’s shtick.
The poll found that 39 percent of the respondents feel that SNL is now “too political.”
Almost half of the sample feel that the show in its present incarnation is “more liberal,” while five percent of those polled live in some Bizarro world where they feel it’s “more conservative.”
The relentless focus on politics in late-night comedy is certainly tedious. Jay Leno recently lamented that very thing in an interview.
The real problem though is that most of it isn’t funny. Political humor is difficult to do well at all, and it is nigh on impossible to pull off consistently, especially when focusing on the same subject.
SNL and the weeknight late shows got lazy when Barack Obama became president. His Lightbringer status among the liberal media made him untouchable as a target for humor. What happened as a result was that they essentially just recycled variations of the same “Sarah Palin is dumb” joke for eight years even though she wasn’t in office.
If you were to record three weeks’ worth of Kimmel, Colbert, Fallon, and SNL right now you’d see that it’s pretty much the same Trump “joke” every night too.
The jokes aren’t really jokes either; they’re just liberal attack talking points that get applause.
To be sure, the president isn’t off limits when it comes to cracking jokes on television. He isn’t the only source of entertainment in politics, however. As I wrote last week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an almost nonstop gaffe generator. It wouldn’t take me more than an hour to write three skits about her myself. If I were collaborating with others they’d almost write themselves.
I am old enough to remember when humor was the primary objective on Saturday Night Live. Yes, that was a while ago. If that were still what they were after, they’d find plenty of non-presidential fodder for political humor.
Sadly, the only goal now is to be a part of a relentless partisan media propaganda machine. They don’t want to entertain, they want to influence voters. It’s sad, it’s boring, and it alienates half the country.
What will be entertaining is seeing their reactions should President Trump be re-elected.