When comedy gets too political
If you remember Chevy Chase doing President Ford or Dan Aykroyd doing President Jimmy Carter, then you remember the days of good political humor at Saturday Night Live.
Or remember David Frye doing President Richard M. Nixon on one of those 1970s L.P.s?
Political humor is a wonderful thing. In fact, there is a story that a Mexican president had an aide going around the country picking up jokes about him. Why? He wanted to know what people were really thinking, and humor was an important barometer.
So humor is great. It's good for both sides to laugh about current events. Politics is not supposed to be "life and death" 24/7.
Enter Saturday Night Live and the late-night shows. This poll comes as no surprise:
As the weekly target of Saturday Night Live's "humor," President Trump's disgruntlement with the show is understandable. According to a new poll conducted by The Hollywood Reporter and Morning Consult, however, it isn't just him who has grown weary of SNL's shtick.
The poll found that 39 percent of the respondents feel that SNL is now "too political."
Almost half of the sample feel that the show in its present incarnation is "more liberal," while five percent of those polled live in some Bizarro world where they feel It's "more conservative."
The relentless focus on politics in late-night comedy is certainly tedious. Jay Leno recently lamented that very thing in an interview.
Or listen to Johnny Carson, the king of late-night comedy for 30 years!
There is a fine line between comedy and partisanship. It's one thing to make fun of Trump's personality and attacking him in a mean way. Political humor is difficult, but it ceases to be humor when you are always picking on the same guy. It won't take long for viewers to see that you are attacking rather than doing comedy.