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Some problems you can’t overcome. Like a comedy show that is no longer funny. For some reason, that doesn’t mix well.
This week, Saturday Night Live premiered to the lowest audience for a season premiere episode in the show’s 47-year history. SNL drew 4.9 million total viewers. Last season, SNL debuted to 8.2 million. That’s not a gradual fall.
How does that happen?
SNL took the same pivot as late-night TV in 2016. Each show focused on Trump’s tweet, Trump’s weight, Trump’s looks, Trump’s reactions, Trump’s blunders, or Trump’s sex life. While Trump-focused content is best for viral videos, SNL’s hard-Left turn agitated Trump’s supporters. Now, Trump voters don’t watch the program, and Democrats don’t have much to laugh about with President Joe Biden in office.
So where does that leave SNL? Take a look:
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) October 4, 2021
At whom is that content targeted? We don’t know. Based on television data, the answer suggests people without televisions and who don’t laugh frequently.
Still, there is a silver lining. Just not for NBC.
Whenever a show loses touch with the country — and most do — it creates an opportunity for an alternative. Greg Gutfeld took over late-night after Colbert’s demise as a comedian. Gutfeld’s success proves that Americans still laugh when programming is funny. And currently, Democrats are providing more fodder than Republicans. Bill Maher agrees:
“I’ve been asked over the years many times, ‘Why isn’t there a conservative comedy?’ And I would always give the answer, which I think was the true answer, ‘There’s not good fodder for it,'” Maher said.
“You know, the liberals aren’t crazy. This was my answer for many years. … Now, I don’t think it’s the same situation,” he continued. “I keep saying to the liberals, ‘If what you’re saying sounds like an Onion headline, stop.’ And that’s why – this is why there’s an opening for conservative comedy. Because when you tear down statues of Abraham Lincoln in the Land of Lincoln, ‘Land of Lincoln cancels Lincoln,’ it’s an Onion headline.
That’s good for Maher, but limiting for SNL. Because SNL airs on NBC, the show can attack the Left only mildly.
Further, an SNL alternative doesn’t need to lean far-Right. It has to only mock Biden, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, cancel culture, and hypocrisy when appropriate.
Streaming services are scraping for content, praying something sticks. So I just gave them an idea, one somehow none of their steak-eating executives could come up with over Zoom.
Let’s just do better than Mad TV, please.