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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: SNL is not funny anymore

Adam Marotta

Comedy does not seem to be the same as it used to be, and supporting that downward spiral is the popular comedy show “Saturday Night Live”. With bad jokes and unfunny celebrity hosts, SNL needs some work.

The first sign that “Saturday Night Live” was going downhill should have been veteran comedians Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney leaving after the 2022 season.

The second warning signal came when the “Musical curse of ‘SNL” reached media sites and started a rumor that no artist has a good performance on the “SNL” stage. 

Although Olivia Rodrigo had us doubting that warning sign after her fantastic Dec. 9 performance, the final call that solidified the demise of “SNL” was this season’s lineup of guest actors, who are not only award-winning cinema stars but also world-class cricket callers since the crowd is silent for all of their jokes.

And it’s not only the studio audience that is left waiting for a punchline. According to a 2022 poll, “only one in five Americans think ‘Saturday Night Live’ is funny.”

Deadline published an article in October reporting a 19% increase in views for the 49th season’s debut episode, however, that does not compare to the steady decline of fans in the past few years.

The show lacks quality comedians like Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon.

Though many people may just log in to drool over cast member, Marcello Hernandez, he really is one of the only stand-up comedians that writes and delivers to the audience’s humor. It is no wonder that clips of his get picked up and circulated on social media platforms like Tiktok and Instagram, more than the veterans of the Saturday comedy special.

When searching the best comedy skits on “SNL”, the first two lists that show up are from Cinemablend and Brafton Fuel Your Brand. Neither contains a skit newer than 2018, and though “SNL” could blame their lack of laughs on COVID-19 and the general setbacks in the industry for the last couple of seasons, what can they say now that the pandemic and writers’ strike are considered over?

However, a list that does contain show dates from the last few years is Digitaltrends, “The 7 Worst ‘Saturday Night Live’ skits, ranked”, which was published in January 2024. It concludes that the winner of the most awful comedic performance goes to none other than Elon Musk’s “Gen Z Hospital” from season forty-six in 2021. 

Not only was Musk’s performance poor, but it was called the worst in the show’s history, and who can really disagree with them? 

Now, the only question is, can we blame this on the man who has two bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Economics and founded the automotive and energy company Tesla, or the writers hired to specifically create jokes that make the target audience laugh?

 It’s not like they have been doing this every Saturday since the ‘70s or anything. 

Tiktok videos and Instagram reels have trained the human mind to scroll if they don’t find something knee-slapping hilarious after the first 10 seconds. Though the attention spans of the general population have only gotten shorter over the years, the audience cannot take full blame for the anti-comedy that graces NBC one night every weekend.

So how are comedians still selling out tours and gaining income from comedy specials on streaming services if people scroll the second a joke does not hit? 

Last year, former “SNL” writer John Mulaney sold out his redemption tour “From Scratch,” recorded a Netflix special called “Baby J” and went on to win an Emmy for that special. 

Though he has returned five times to host the show, he has not come back as a cast member since his departure in 2012. 

Like previously stated comedians, Fallon and Fey, it seems like “SNL” is a starting place for comedians before their take-off, and if they don’t take off they provide us with the mediocre material found streaming on Peacock every weekend. 

Maybe someday, Colin Jost and Michael Che can get through an entire “Weekend Update” without being joined by a cast member that makes you want to shut off the television, but until then we can hope that they don’t realize how funny they are and stay in the little leagues at NBC so we have something to tune into.

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About the Contributor
Alexis Crochiere
Alexis Crochiere, Asst. News Editor | she/her
Lex Crochiere is a Broadcast Journalism major from Taunton, Mass. When she's not writing for the Journal she can be found in the editing lab, at the gym, or listening to the Cranberries.

Comments (5)

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  • J

    jane brownApr 20, 2024 at 7:25 pm

    Holy Cow! Totally agree.
    Jost and Che are all that’s left, and even their show gets
    sabotaged by guest dorks

  • C

    CharlieMar 31, 2024 at 1:07 am

    It’s kind of sad. The Easter Episode has to be the worst one I’ve seen. How they couldn’t come up with better material even after trump was outrageously hawking Bibles is bordering on payhetic

  • M

    Mat foleyMar 18, 2024 at 11:59 am

    The 2024 snl season isn’t remarkably funny

  • S

    ScottMar 12, 2024 at 6:37 am

    I concur. Not funny. I stopped watching.

  • M

    Mike RundleMar 11, 2024 at 10:40 pm

    Why not mention Lorne Michaels in this piece? Surely he has something to do with the spiral into the absence of humor and hiring all the bad actors/ comedians or lack of decent writing & direction?

    Is he spiraling as well? In poor health?