It’s time that “Saturday Night Liberal” became more of “Saturday Night Laughing,” according to entertainment industry voices who would like to see less politics and more humor on “Saturday Night Live.”
Comedian Leslie Jones spoke out to The Wrap about her wishes for the long-running show.
“I hope next year we can do more funnier stuff instead of a lot of political stuff this year, which we had to,” said Jones, a four-year veteran of the show.
Jones said political humor became part of the landscape after the election of President Donald Trump, when Americans were fixated on politics as rarely before.
“There was so much stuff that was happening, there was no way that our show, with the responsibility that we have, would not cover that stuff,” she said. “It was just too important. But I do hope that next year will be a lot more funny-funny based stuff, more comedy based stuff instead of a lot of political stuff.”
Jones said there is a place for political humor, but that it shouldn’t overshadow everything else.
“But there should be more than that as far as funny comics that come and really make you laugh,” she said. “Comedy is a release just like art and music. All of that is the same thing. You need that release. It can’t always be serious. You need The Three Stooges just as much as you need John Oliver.”
Jones said comedians who spew anti-Trump jokes diminish themselves.
“One thing that I always made a goal was never to talk about what everybody else is talking about, because most of the time, maybe 10 comics are doing literally the same Trump joke,” Jones said.
“When I started, it wasn’t important about being famous or being heard of. The most important thing was if we were funny. The comics today are — it’s stressful to go to a comedy show, because that’s all they’re going to do is just talk about that. No one just gets up and does a simple joke that makes you laugh,” she said.
SNL’s focus onTrump has left some commentators cold.
Harry Cheadle, West Coast editor for Vice.com, labeled the opening sketches “Unfunny, Elitist Pieces of Liberal Propaganda,” in a recent column on Vice.com.
“The jokes are tired references to current events that never build on one another. Instead, they are limply tossed out as obvious applause lines to an anti-Trump crowd,” Cheadle wrote, calling the sketches, “terrible, cringeworthy pieces of self-satisfied liberal propaganda that are sometimes so bad they seem like parodies of themselves.”
Its opening pieces are “toxic examples of limousine liberalism, millionaires putting on a self-congratulatory show with jokes cribbed from ‘The New York Times’ editorial page,” he added.
Comedian Rob Schneider said the show has lost something by staying in its anti-Trump rut.
“The fun of ‘Saturday Night Live’ was always you never knew which way they leaned politically,” he said, according to the New York Daily News.
“You kind of assumed they would lean more left and liberal, but now the cat’s out of the bag they are completely against Trump, which I think makes it less interesting because you know the direction the piece is going,” he said.
He said the Trump character played by Alec Baldwin is a failure.
“Alec Baldwin is a brilliant actor… he’s not a comedian,” Schneider said. “I don’t find his impression to be comical. Because, like I said, I know the way his politics lean and it spoils any surprise. There’s no possible surprise. He so clearly hates the man he’s playing.”
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