Sunday, November 22, 2015

SNL: Satirical Night Live

Saturday Night Live has been a very popular T.V. show since its debut in 1975. The show is an hour and a half long and consists of many comedians performing a variety of skits. Said skits are very funny and often satirical. One segment on SNL, which is particularly satirical, is the Weekend Update. Many of the past Weekend Update hosts have risen to stardom due to their role on the TV program. Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon and Cecily Strong (an OPRF alum), are just a few of the famous comedians who have contributed to the segment's greatness.

The Weekend Update is a satirical version of your typical news broadcast. The host brings up a current event and finds a way to make it funny. The current hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che have hosted since 2014. This Saturday during the Weekend Update, Colin said, “Jeb Bush said he would be willing to send ground troops into Syria and Iraq to stop ISIS, because you never want to be the one guy at Thanksgiving who hasn’t sent troops to the Middle East.” Colin ties in factual information with his own satirical analysis. This particular situation is an example of situational irony. As an audience we expected some sort of political viewpoint while in reality Colin made a stab at the Bushes and their love for sending troops to the Middle East. The point of this joke isn’t purely to make fun of the Bushes but also makes a point about politics and war. Presidents in the past have used War to be elected and reelected. SNL is trying to make the point that voting for a war happy candidate isn’t always the right solution.

Later on in the sketch, Colin and Michael bring up the argument about Syrian immigrants and immigration in general. Colin makes his point by saying, “America is a nation of immigrants but once we get here, we get really suspicious about any new immigrants. It’s kind of like America is this giant awesome roller coaster and you wait in line forever to ride it, then when we finally get to the front we ride it and it’s awesome then it finishes and we are like ok, shut it down. “But wait there are all these other people in line,” no no i just want it for me and my ethnicity, you have to stand on the other side of that fence and watch us go weeeeeeeee.” Colin’s immigration analogy is a great example of situational irony. The way he ended by saying, “ok shut it down” was very blunt and unexpected. Even though this is very funny it also makes a very good point about society. This sketch shows that new immigration laws excluding Syrian immigrants are ridiculous. America is portrayed as this exclusive club in which only a select few can enter.

After that, Michael gave his take on immigration. He said, “you know this whole country was stolen by immigrants, so I would get why Americans would be skeptical of other immigrants. If I steal your car and get away with it, the first thing I’m going to do is buy a better security system for my new car, because there are thieves out there.” Michael’s last line is an example of verbal irony. He says he would buy a new security system for his hypothetical stolen car because there are thieves out there, even though he was the thief to begin with. Just like Colin’s, Michael’s analogy shows how ridiculous this new policy is. Basically, America is trying to protect its stolen property from new potential thieves. An idea that sounds absurd because America prides itself on having the best army in the world. Without fail, the Weekend Update is consistently chock full of irony and satire.

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