SNL monologue proves insensitive, not important as other issues


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Mulaney has hosted Saturday Night Live (SNL) three time prior, and has written and produced various episodes. His recent monologue gathered a huge reaction online because his comments came right before an election many people deemed as important.

With this election being very tense and causing large amounts of stress on both sides, where to draw the line when it comes to political comedy has come into question. John Mulaney drew controversy with his recent “Saturday Night Live” monologue when he made jokes about the recent 2020 presidential election and its candidates. These jokes don’t seem like a big deal to me personally, although including a message about the importance of this election — especially for younger people watching — might have been beneficial for Mulaney. 

Mulaney called this election an elderly man contest, saying, “There’s two elderly men, and you’re supposed to choose your favorite of the two elderly men.” Mulaney made another joke about age regarding his grandmother, saying, “You don’t get to vote when you’re 94 years old. You don’t get to order for the table when you’re about to leave the restaurant.” Jokes involving age aren’t generally funny to me, and the votes of elderly people shouldn’t be belittled or considered to matter any less. These jokes involving age appeared to have been made in poor taste, even though Mulaney did point out that the joke was ageist. 

Mulaney also expressed that nothing would change regardless of the election’s outcome by saying, “Just rest assured, no matter what happens, nothing much will change in the United States. The rich will continue to prosper while the poor languish, families will be upended by mental illness and drug addiction.” I disagree with his second statement as this election is extremely important. However, these jokes are not worth getting angry over. It is Mulaney and SNL’s job to add humor to stressful situations and current events. Some of the backlash could have been avoided if Mulaney added something about how important democracy as a system is in America. Mulaney did make comments about the importance of voting, but this short statement was overshadowed by his other jokes. 

His monologue received a lot of backlash on Twitter, with one user stating, “‘Nothing’s going to change’ is a horrible take to say on live TV three days before an election where we need as many people to vote as possible.” Another user tweeted, “Shocked and appalled at what John Mulaney said on his SNL monologue. I feel as though they should do away with the monologue all together. The celebrity guest should just stand on the stage and people clap for them, that’s it.” The first response is understandable, yet the second response seems to be a bit of an extreme reaction to disliking what a celebrity said. 

I empathize with how some of these people feel, as this election has been very stressful for people on every side. However, there are more serious issues to focus on when it comes to this election, the spread of misinformation or Trump’s harmful comments for example. A comedian making a couple of jokes in poor taste (that he may not have even written) should not be our first priority during this time.