Saturday Night Live is BACK!


In both this class and my History of Television class, both required texts have strongly suggested that the birth of radio and television led to the ultimate demise of vaudeville.  However, with the return of SNL, featuring guest star Margot Robbie, it is evident to me that although vaudeville may not be in surplus, it is certainly still successful.  I think what leads to the consistent success of SNL in such an “outdated” and rare style of television is its ability to poke fun at the most serious issues in society.  And, most recently, SNL’s fixation on American politics has kept it extremely relevant in multiple facets of our media.  Throughout the years, SNL has always made fun of politicians, presidential candidates, and campaigns.  In recent years however, SNL has made political satire a core element of the show.  Almost every episode begins with a news segment, political speech, or presidential debate.  The show’s ability to find humor in the most serious and important aspect of our society has allowed it to maintain significance in the lives of the American public.  Even actual news networks will feature political sketches from SNL in their daily broadcasts.  This success proves that in life before radio/television and in life now, people will always look to vaudeville and political satire in order to find humor and entertainment in daily life.

Stephanie Rubin

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10 Responses to Saturday Night Live is BACK!

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I love SNL, I think their political commentary is hilarious, especially right now. I also loved the really early SNLs back in the 70s, which stream on Hulu. When I watch those, I feel the vaudeville characteristics emerging and the amount of sarcasm used. That sarcasm has not changed and is pivotal to the style of the show. The satire needs this sarcasm in order for the comedy to be successful.

    Laya Mohan

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I think that SNL is a constantly evolving form of vaudeville. It has spanned across generations and has adapted to each time period. It is funny how different their political sketches have been over the years and how they highlight these changes through different segments such as Weekend Update, their openers, as well as their variety acts. It is interesting how this show can go from an insanely accurate portrayal of a candidate to a news segment that (most of the time) hits the punchline.

    -Shelby Halliman

  3. mediaphiles says:

    SNL is my favorite! Compared to other comedic improvisation shows such as Mad Tv, SNL has proved to be consistently popular and hilarious over the years. Whether it is because of the impressive guests and co-stars to air in the show or the incorporation of relevant ideas and essentially making fun of them, SNL remains on top. Hopefully for many more years to come.
    Kendall Fischlein

  4. mediaphiles says:

    Saturday Night Live was the television show my family and I watched every night together when I was younger. The sitcom definitely feels as if the cast is a constructed family. The relevance of SNL cannot be understated. The recent parody of the 2016 Presidential Debate was flawless in my opinion. Kate McKinnon does a remarkable impression of Hillary Clinton. Just as Tina Fey was known for her characterization of Sarah Palin, SNL has found talent that adapts to contemporary issues. – Andrew Guido

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I’m not positive if SNL can be categorized as vaudeville. While the show does have a strong stance on satire, and comedy, I would readily categorize SNL as a sketch comedy/variety show. I think the talent level of the cast is indicative of the style and quality of the show, but I don’t think it can be categorized as vaudeville. –Serena Daya

  6. mediaphiles says:

    I think your comments about SNL staying popular because of its use of political satire is completely accurate. With all of the seriousness surrounding the subject in years past, not necessarily today, we as an audience look for an outlet. This outlet happens to fall perfectly in line with what SNL presents. They dumb it down and allow the audience to no only see how ridiculous some of it is, but also show that although some things are serious, every one needs to laugh a little and make fun of the big things. I think that is why SNL is so successful.
    -Nicolette McCann

  7. mediaphiles says:

    Stephanie, I totally agree with you! SNL has done an impeccable job at creating an environment in which the public can view some of the most serious issues in a humorous way. Although I’m not an avid viewer of the show, I have enjoyed watching some of the episodes over the years. I am always amazed at the acting abilities of the actors and actresses, particularly when they poke fun at certain politicians.
    -Allie Kleinman

  8. mediaphiles says:

    There is no doubt that SNL is one of the most unique shows on television. It has been on the air since 1975 with many successful seasons. The dynamic of the cast and writers creates a combination of high brow and low brow humor that relates to many different demographics. I love how SNL can find humor in random parts of everyday life, such as “Mom Jeans”, and create iconic sketches. It’s especially impressive that after so many seasons it still manages to create funny, original content.

    Arianna Gershon

  9. mediaphiles says:

    I believe SNL took a big hit in terms of its biting satire when The Daily Show with John Stewart came on the scene. It brought in a wave of people making fun of the news in more insightful ways than SNL did in their openings or their weekend update segments, which largely became pointless although they remained a staple of the series. And I don’t fault them for that. Without Weekend Update, Tina Fey may not be as present as the Tina Fey we all love today. Still, I’m not sure SNL is at the forefront of that, even without John Stewart or Colbert around anymore. Though Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump was hilarious. – Max Dosser

  10. marymdalton says:

    Good conversation.

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