Tonight is a Saturday Night Live special. It’s #SNL40 and the program is celebrating 40 years of America’s favorite (only well-known) sketch show.
In great timing, Tala posted about the humor gap in generations. She says, “we have been trained by the media, television, and Hollywood (interpret these titles how you want) to think something is funny by our generation.” I agree that humor is fluid, but as long as something is culturally/socially-relevant, it’s funny.
To me SNL is an example of “culturally appropriate humor”. I don’t know why I put this in quotes, I just made it up. What I mean by that, is that the jokes and the sketches and Weekend Update rely heavily on pop culture, current events and things we won’t remember in 30 years. So me, a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 21-year-old, seeing a sketch from 30 years ago won’t resonate in my funny bone like it would for an older audience. And vice-versa.
A lot of old SNL sketches fall flat for for me. But not all of them. There’s Schweddy Balls, the one with John Belushi as a short-order cook, Consumer Probe, Hot Tub Love-ahs, and of course, Matt Foley. These are sketches that aren’t glued to a year or generation, and they’re funny because they’re eternally applicable to life.
Because no matter where media takes us, humor is timeless.