Saturday Night Live isn’t brave. They’re suck-ups to the elites.

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Joe Piscopo joined the chorus of Saturday Night Live alumni who have criticized the show for placing a higher priority on scoring political points than making people laugh.

“I’m so loyal to ‘SNL,’” said Piscopo. “But Stormy Daniels on ‘SNL’? Lorne Michaels doesn’t even ask me to go on ‘SNL’.”

SNL is certainly *more* left-leaning than it once was but the show was always left-leaning. No, the problem is not that SNL has become left-leaning. The problem is that they have become suck-ups to the elite.

The brand of comedy that first hit it big in the 70s with the original cast (and Steve Martin) was always mostly leftist but poked fun at the powerful, regardless of who they were. I can remember skits by the original cast skewering then-President Jimmy Carter that were devastatingly funny. They poked fun at Reagan and Clinton and Bush. 

But then came the Obama era, when making fun of the first African-American President became a thing that even supposedly rebellious comedians dare not do. That was the moment when SNL went from being the nonconformists you grew up with to being American royalty’s court jesters.

I noticed it in one of the very first skits of the Obama era. The Democrats had just had a massive victory in 2008, taking complete control of Congress and the White House. The Republicans were more powerless than at any time in years.

So SNL did a skit making fun of…the Republicans.

It was some goofy thing with Dan Akroyd playing John Boehner, assuring fellow GOP Congressmen that the Party was in great shape, despite divisions over whether Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity was the better radio commentator.

And that was the pattern going forward ever since. Mock the *culturally* powerless, kiss up to the *culturally* powerful.

It is important to add that qualifier, “culturally.” The GOP did continue to gain strength politically throughout the Obama era and Trump is, after all, President. But their juice among the cultural elites is zero.

And that is who SNL’s comedy really aims to please, the cultural elites. Not you and me. They stopped caring what we think a long time ago.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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Peter Wolfgang is president of Family Institute of Connecticut Action, a Hartford-based advocacy organization whose mission is to encourage and strengthen the family as the foundation of society. His work has appeared in The Hartford Courant, the Waterbury Republican-American, Crisis Magazine, Columbia Magazine, the National Catholic Register, The Stream, CatholicVote, and Ethika Politika. He lives in Waterbury, Conn., with his wife and their seven children. The views expressed here are his own.

3 Comments

  1. Rob Schroeder on

    The President of the Family Institute of Connecticut, whose mission is to encourage and strengthen the family as the foundation of society, objects to Stormy Daniels appearing on Saturday Night Live, but writes not a word about the President of the United States’ alleged adultery with Stormy Daniels.
    Which is a greater threat to families as the foundation of society?

  2. Matt Hagedorn on

    He was writing about what Joe Piscopo said, not objecting it himself. But, even if MR Wolfgang personally objected to it in his article, your comparison is not equitable; you are trying to put an alleged affair on the same footing morally as someone who is a known and unapologetic porn star.

  3. Mel Livatino on

    This was very perceptive. I’m glad somebody said this. But it also needs to be said that the culturally powerful are very powerful indeed because they sway the country without engaging them in honest thought. The left (which has all the cultural power) merely presents its views as if they were unrivaled facts. And the ignorant suck it up as if it were truth. Down the road that will be disastrous for the country. Furthermore, so called higher education no longer teaches thinking or the honest evaluation of thought. They simply teach the left wing view of the world. So I am afraid our country is in deep peril.

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