Comedy, while primarily for the entertainment of the viewer, has always served one very important purpose: to call attention to the absurdities of reality and present it in a thought provoking albeit humorous manner. For more than 40 years, Saturday Night Live has been able to pull that off without sacrificing the entertainment quality of the show. Always been a relevant force when it comes to social commentary of both stateside and global events, the show has never shied away from tackling the most vital issues and putting their signature stamp on those events. It is for this reason that the iconic show has raised the ire of current US president Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has often used his medium of choice, Twitter, as a means to express his dismay of how the show supposedly portrays him, particularly in the last several months, during the majority of Trump’s presidential campaign. Almost on a weekly basis, Trump would specifically tweet about SNL’s supposed biased representation of the president, claiming on numerous occasions that the show is taking a concerted effort on making him look foolish. This is not entirely new, as Trump as attacking the media in general with accusations of being biased, but SNL is the only comedy show that Trump recognizes and tweets about on a weekly basis, and this speaks volumes about the credibility of the show.
To put this in proper context, SNL traditionally begins every episode with what is referred to as a “cold open”. This is the portion of the show that warms the audience up, before the host is introduced, and often times, this portion the show usually tackles the politics of the United States. For the past several months, SNL has taken a look at the US presidential elections, portraying cast member Kate McKinnon Hillary Clinton as the robotic candidate trying to connect with the common voter and bringing in Alec Baldwin, a frequent guest of the show,, perform an incredible impersonation of Trump. For several months, every episode of the show had Baldwin do his ‘cartoonish’ impersonation, much to the chagrin of Trump. Trump won the election, but the man is still voicing out his negative point of view of SNL.
Trump has always been ample material for comedy, and there are staggering numbers of comedian out there that have used Donald Trump as fodder, but what makes SNL’s portrayal different is that despite the extremely exaggerated situations the show presents, it still shines a spotlight on the truth. For four decades, the show has become a reflection of the United States’ general opinions on the political climate, and it still made a strong influence to public opinion regardless of how many cast changes have occurred.
The truth about it is, Trump tweeting about SNL only helps the show cause. It shows that SNL is an authority; enough of which that even the president of the world’s most powerful country takes time out of his busy weekly schedule to watch and complain. It’s time we all took the time to find out why.