Late-night show takes on controversial topics for laughs

By ALEX MASS
On October 16, 2017

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, Wikipedia

“Saturday Night Live” has had a huge impact since 1975 when the show first aired. “SNL” is notoriously known for pushing boundaries and bringing light to controversial topics. The show informs the audience of current events through a satirical platform that incorporates a variety of actors and musicians. “SNL” has even produced Hollywood stars due to the popularity of those who are constantly being featured. Actors such as Tina Fey and Will Ferrell started their careers on “SNL” and today are recognized worldwide.

The most recent episode was the third of their 43rd season. It started off how most episodes of “SNL” do, with a political skit. This week focused on President Donald Trump and a series of controversial things he has done and said within the past month. During the skit, President Trump (Alec Baldwin) called Mike Pence (Beck Bennett) every so often to see if Pence should leave any situation that wasn’t respecting America or the values of the Trump administration. 

Kumail Nanjiani was the guest host for this week’s show. Nanjiani opened up by talking about his movie “The Big Sick,” which is a true-life story about him and his wife. He also shared some personal stories and problems he has faced in his life with Islamophobia and how it is on the rise in society today. Following this was a series of skits he was featured in throughout the show.

“SNL” has been notoriously known for their political themed skits for years, and this week was no different. One particularly amusing skit of the night was based on Anderson Cooper from CNN. This skit connected Kellyanne Conway to Pennywise from the classic horror film, “It,” played expertly by Kate McKinnon. It is interesting to see the ways “SNL” connects current events and famous figures in pop culture. SNL also has a tendency to mix up the format of their performances as well. The show’s Weekend Update does an analysis of current events in a newsroom-like format. 

The controversial subject of Harvey Weinstein came up in a segment. The way in which “SNL” covers topics like sexual assault really creates a segway for society to start discussing it more. 

P!nk was the musical guest and performed two times during the show. For her first song, she sang “What About Us.” The second song she sang was “Beautiful Trauma.” Both of her songs, taken from her new album, were sung with a clear energy and emotion that connected with the audience. 

“Saturday Night Live” has tackled controversial subjects since the ‘70s when they brought up things like racism during a time when it was never talked about, let alone joked about. By opening issues up to the public in a satirical way, “SNL” allows society to talk about the things that matter in a non-threatening way. 


amass@ramapo.edu

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