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Everything I Need To Know About Life I Learned From SNL

In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit that I no longer watch Saturday Night Live. I don't think it's funny and I'm tired of political attacks being wrapped in the banner of so-called comedy. But there is some value in examining SNL at its highest and lowest points.


To be fair, it has given exposure to musical artists that would otherwise have been shunned by traditional media outlets, actors to be seen in a completely different light and generations of comedians who cut their teeth on live television and as a result launched movie careers.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Saturday_Night_Live_episodes_(seasons_1%E2%80%9330)#Season_1_(1975%E2%80%9376)


When the show was sticking to pure comedy, it was at its best. But once it took a hard left turn into political activism, it lost its way... and half of its audience.


The relentless attacks on President Trump play to a certain demographic, but for others, it simply gets old and needlessly hostile.


Take the recent episode where Pete Davidson was universally condemned for mocking former Navy Seal, Dan Crenshaw, who lost an eye in battle in Afghanistan.


https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2018/11/04/snl-pete-davidson-slammed-mocking-gop-veteran-who-lost-eye/1884611002/


It was a situation that could have escalated into a media war if not for Lieutenant Commander Crenshaw's willingness to accept Davidson's apology and Davidson's willingness to give it. Something for members of Congress to consider come this January.


The problem seems to be that these comic performers and writers have forgotten what it is to have a sense of humor - a lesson taught by the late President George H.W. Bush.


He was the regular target of Dana Carvey who impersonated him and made good-natured jabs at his voice and words. Yet, instead of anger, the President responded by demonstrating his own humor.


In fact, against all odds, they actually became friends - something that would be impossible today in the climate of anger, intolerance and hatred that now exists.


Here is a clip of Dana Carvey remembering his friend, President George H.W. Bush:


Maybe we can learn some valuable lessons from the President's passing now that his fiercest critics have done a complete turn around and are showing him the respect he deserves, but didn't receive in the past.


Lesson 1: It is possible for people from opposite sides of the political spectrum to be civil and even cordial to each other.


Lesson 2: There's a big difference between laughing at someone and laughing with them.


If George Bush could offer his friendship to Bill Clinton, the man who defeated him for the Presidency of the United States, could we at least try to talk to those who think differently than we do? And remember the people we parody or criticize are human beings, not punching bags.


It's time. In fact, it's more than time to take off the boxing gloves and shake hands. Corny, I know. But it's the only way we will survive and thrive as a country.


We need to do better just because it's the right thing to do, but also because we owe it to our children. I think 41 would agree.


Your thoughts?





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© 2019 by Lisa Luciano - What It Is