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“Why I Have a Problem with SNL Spoofing Trump”

Anybody who’s recently suffered through the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has gotten a firsthand look at the devastation of how worn out an old form of entertainment can get. Aside, now, from commenting on how good the jokes are, and this goes part and parcel with what I’m saying — when you beat a comedic horse into the ground, the thematic, behavioral aping can almost become a physical aping too — whether it’s in the host’s posture and mannerisms, or simply a look they get in their eyes, like they’re leering at those who came before with sneering confidence. But then, ironically, it’s that very idea of “success,” that very idea of “oh gee look mom I’m doing this late night talk show thing right,” that undermines comedic value, and bespeaks the basic artistic flaw behind what’s going on. [1] It’s like if a painter were to try to go to an easel and not just create a post-impressionist painting, but be like “I’m going to make a Van Gogh painting.” Hence, then, we have the difference between “science” and “art.” A well-performed triple bypass surgery is apt to be repeated: reassignment of technique in entertainment is death at your door. But then, do we need entertainment? I dunno, but it’s big business. [2]
“Roasts” are an enterprise that used to happen quite often in the ‘90s and early ‘00s (a couple memorable ones off the top of my head having been of Ben Stiller, and Carson Daly), and actually, these were always to me an astonishing revelation, for the kind of setting they represent. Basically they’d be like an hour long or so, and would compose themselves entirely of other sundry famous comedians going up and making fun of the guest of honor (I remember Nelly calling Carson Daly a “giggly bit**,” interesting points of tension coming when the host would riposte in the vein of Ben Stiller’s smirky remark to Jason Alexander: “Loved your work in Dunston Checks in“).
But at the beginning and at the end there would always be someone, usually some aging woman or sort of obscurity, who would tie the whole thing together, and pay proper acknowledgements. Here we see how closely the humorous and the human are tied. It is, indeed, as they say, which we are living, an “human comedy.”
So along with the fact that these SNL spoofs having been going on (at least) since Bill Clinton was in office, and they’ve never really changed (props to the highly controversial to the point of cancellation That’s My Bush though for a particularly pithy format circa 2002), I, I, I, and I’m operating here on the precarious grounds that my vote counts at all, have a problem with elevating Trump to the “human” status that as we now see ties itself hand in hand to the ABILITY to be spoofed and mocked (God I hate that word “trolled,” I’m going to everything in my power to see it stricken from the records). [3] In his tweets, [4] he is already comedic, himself — nobody in their right mind attempting to win the favor of actual cognitive beings would call Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer a “clown,” for reasons nary but partisan themselves, on public record, and I mean the guy’s very career STATURE is comedic. Not only does he have no experience on the job, in politics, but he’s not even a GOOD casino tycoon, he’s a failing casino tycoon, hence granting him an obvious motive to run for president, and secure probably some pretty tits benefits. Even his Jersey Mafia accent is caricatured, like some old Godfather or Scarface figure. The guy is a walking horror film, all the more so for being responsible for our safety, livelihoods and even more importantly, our RESPECTABILITY AS A NATION. Or have we conceded that already? Or did we concede that in 2003?
As far as I’ve seen, in the last year or two, the show has parodied Trump, and Clinton (Hillary). What the he** do they want with Hillary Clinton? What the he** did SHE ever do to NBC? It’s like on one side she’s got the FBI spying in her emails, concluding that no prosecutor would have a case and then 11 DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION reopening the investigation, and on the other, she’s got the entertainment industry harassing her. What about making fun of Bernie Sanders? We’ll leave that to Jenna Friedman, who’s good at it, although, probably to an excessively caustic, sadistic and neo-Nazi extent.
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Addenda: Giving proper respects to the overall history of SNL.
Now, I’m being very harsh on the series of Saturday Night Live here, but I think I’ve provided good reasons for this. By the same token, though, you’d be hard pressed to find a worse show on television than The Simpsons, yet the occasion of seeing the “girl,” yes, girl, who does Bart Simpson’s voice on that show, for the first time, is a rousting enough experience to get me like jumping up and down and yelling in my room.
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[1] Music represents an interesting middle ground, because although the melodic renderings and rhythms are more or less functionally artistic, there is also a scientific, verifiable rubric by which to judge of production — mixing and sound quality, but also instrumentation, and clarity of the musical m.o. going on. Like just last night I was listening to Beck – Mutations (yeah I really am THAT ‘90s, I know it’s dorky, by the way I listened to two cd’s yesterday: Odelay and Mutations), but anyway I realized that if you took away Beck’s vocal and inserted a vocal by Neil Young, nobody would fault the album in its endeavor of being a Neil Young album. I saw this as a good thing for Beck, but then, it’s not his first album, or one he relied on for commercial success (don’t try pasting a Young vocal over “Derelict”).
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[2] This then speaks to another flaw in this form of “entertainment”: that at this point it’s actually leeching off the area of politics for its subject matter.
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[3] Due credit here must go to Bill Maher who delivered a great Trump-handling interview late last fall and made the observation that “He’s so far beyond humor.”
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[4] First of all, our president fu**ing goes on twitter? What the he** is that sh**? Also I keep getting these emails from “The White House” in my yahoo account… this is by far the least noteworthy presidency ever, except of course in the case of if Britain Theresa May want to actually step in and analyze what’s going on, but knowing the rednecks in this country they’ll get all pi**ed off.

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