Kanye-West-SNL-Spoof

SWAN | A High Tech Minstrel Show

Kanye West’s comment about a “lack of male energy,” in both his childhood home and his current extended family, stood out to me, as I thought it might convey something about the formation of black, masculine identity at this point in the hip-hop era.

YANG | The Apolitical Artist

Two weeks ago, during an appearance as musical guest on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, Kanye West delivered an unplanned pro-Trump speech to the audience as the credits rolled. Now you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking I’m either going to defend or bash Kanye on his speech and his twitter rants about the 13th Amendment. Well, I’m not going to do either of those things. There’s something else entirely that concerns me. This past Saturday, SNL cast member Pete Davidson discussed the incident during “Weekend Update.” Davidson urged Kanye to take his meds and said that while Kanye is a musical genius like “Joey Chestnut is a hot dog-eating genius,” he doesn’t want to “hear Joey Chestnut’s opinions about things that aren’t hot dog-related.”

Incidentally, the day before Davidson’s SNL appearance, Lady Gaga went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and gave a defense of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford with regards to memory mechanisms and trauma, and her speech soon went viral on Twitter.

COURTESY OF NBC

JONES | SNL and the Normalization of Donald Trump

I hardly ever watch Saturday Night Live, or even single skits from it. From what I’ve seen, its sense of humor isn’t really my style: too broad and too topical without offering real criticism. Nonetheless, I watched the post-election episode, and thought that the show was exhibiting a new side. Kate McKinnon’s opening performance of “Hallelujah,” in character as Hillary Clinton, paid simultaneous tribute to the deaths of Leonard Cohen and Clinton’s presidential prospects (and the hopes of millions). This double-sided swan song was surprisingly powerful, especially when McKinnon ended by turning to the camera and saying sincerely, “I’m not giving up, and neither should you.”

Following just after, Dave Chappelle’s opening monologue was a reminder of his talent, a rumination on Trump and America’s progress that was by turns cutting, glum and hopeful.

How November 4th Will Change Your Weekend

The country (read: the Electoral College) has spoken – Obama and Biden 2008. But I’m not about to write about what this decision means for social security, the War in Iraq or our public school system. I’d rather delve into what it means for Saturday Night Live.

To be frank, the show was in a Dark Age before Tina Fey donned the Sarah Palin wig and Amy Poehler dusted off her Hillary Clinton shoulder pads. Saturday Night Live was dominated by skits that weren’t funny, characters who were overused and Kenan Thompson, whose career peaked with genius alongside Kel Mitchell in Kenan and Kel. But since all the Election 2008 shenanigans began, the show has risen from the ashes as a real tour de force for sketch comedy.