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    • Cringe: The cast of “Gen Z Hospital” poses for a selfie.

Saturday Night Live: Is It Still Funny?

Miri Levin ’26 Assistant Op/Ed Editor
“Saturday Night Live,” often abbreviated to SNL, is one of the most famous late-night television programs on the air.
“Saturday Night Live,” often abbreviated to SNL, is one of the most famous late-night television programs on the air. From the show’s old “The Culps” sketches to more recent ones such as “Weekend Update,” SNL is one of the most popular comedy shows on air. With comedic standards changing in accordance with current
politics, however, people aren’t so sure about the show’s agenda. More generally, I look back on old series such as “Sex and the City,” “Friends,” and “The Office,” and I can’t help but wonder why programs with this kind of mature humor aren’t being produced anymore. Looking at the difference between old and new SNL skits, I found myself bored during the more recent ones. They seemed to be targeted at a younger and more sensitive audience. The jokes were so clean that they were almost juvenile. As such, I wondered what it takes for something to be funny in our contemporary political and social climate.

These days, everything seems to offend someone; even if a certain group of people isn’t offended, there are people outside of the relevant group who will tell you that you are being inconsiderate and rude. In recent years, our society has grown to be very sensitive, which can be a challenge to overcome for comedians. First aired in 2015, SNL’s series of “High School Theatre Show” skits mocks high school drama students in various ways. The actors portray theater kids as “artists who cannot and will not be silenced” in a mocking way to poke fun at “woke” drama students. The comments under the video included rave reviews such as “This is the best show in 2 years!” and “This is hilarious.” On the other hand, SNL recently released a sketch entitled “Gen Z Hospital,’’ satirizing Gen Z slang and fads in the context of a “difficult” hospital conversation. The comments under this video demonstrated a shift in audience reception. @alexgerweck4507 wrote: “The amount of emotional pain this causes me is indescribable.” @_deeds_ wrote: “Congrats to the out-of-touch middle-aged dad who wrote this skit.” While both skits poked fun at a younger demographic and were written by writers of approximately the same age range, the more recent one completely missed the mark. Its jokes were simply sourced from TikTok references, despite the multitude of possible bits the writers could have made to parody my generation — ones they presumably feared would offend their audience. The key difference between the skits (apart from the presence of the unfunny Elon Musk in the hospital clip), is that while “High School Theatre Show” pulled no punches in mocking high school theater, the “Gen Z Hospital” sketch was too concerned with respecting its audience’s feelings.

There are a few sketches that continue to catch the eyes of many and are still considered hilarious. The clips I hear about most when it comes to humor are from the weekend update “Joke Swap” series, in which the cast of SNL writes jokes for one another that are revealed to the actor while filming the live show. These jokes are usually written by cast members of a different race, gender, or sense of humor from the actor who will be delivering the line. Although some of the jokes could be considered offensive, they are some of the funniest sketches I have ever watched. These types of conflicts pose questions for SNL’s writers and comedians in general: Do jokes have to come at the expense of a group in order to be funny? Does worrying about offending others stifle one’s sense of humor and ability to write comedy? There are plenty of clean, politically correct comedians out there. However, SNL is geared toward an edgier audience. Thus, the show’s devoted followers are accustomed to its often jarring sense of humor— which is why the more controversial sketches are often more popular with the watchers of SNL. To be blunt: People are easily offended nowadays. Some believe that comedy needs to change with growing awareness. This is reflected in the new, safe, politically correct brand of comedy on SNL and other late-night shows. Personally, as a fifteen year old girl, SNL’s new “safe” humor tends to bore me. I notice that they are incredibly scared of offending my generation and falling into the cancel culture trap. If we cancel everyone who says their opinion, or anyone who makes a joke that isn’t completely clean, what will the “correct” sense of humor be in five years?

The best comedy celebrates what makes us all different and allows us to step back and laugh at ourselves, and our differences, together. This is what made venerable old series like “The Office” and “Seinfeld,” and the best SNL sketches, funny. From SNL right now, I’m learning how to stay out of the way of cancel culture.
Editor in Chief 
Asher Joseph

Managing Editor 
Margaret Russell

Claire Billings
Jo Reymond
Rose Porosoff
Eric Roberts
Abby Rakotomavo
Elona Spiewak
Veena Scholand
Miriam Levin
Liliana Dumas
Saisha Ghai
Olivia Yu
Anya Mahajan
Rain Zeng
Winter Szarabajka
Aerin O'Brien

Karun Srihari
Samantha Bernstein
Hana Beauregard
Micah Betts
Elaina Paktuka
Edel Lee
Anjali van Bladel
Nate Gerber
Rebecca Li

Hailey Willey
Web Editors
Amelia Hudonogov-Foster
Anvi Pathak
Chloe Wang

Faculty Advisers
Stephen May
Elizabeth Gleason
Shanti Madison
The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
The Razor,
 an open forum publication, is published monthly during the school year by students of: 
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