“Saturday Night Live” is facing calls to be taken off the air by critics who charge that the show has fallen so much from where it once was that pulling it off the air might be the most compassionate move.
The calls for the show to be taken off the air and the mockery that it received over the weekend came in response to the show’s cold open, which mocked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and famed podcast host Joe Rogan.
Pete Davidson, who played Rogan, was at the center of the backlash over the following interaction that he had with Big Bird:
DAVIDSON: [Inaudible] I used to host Fear Factor and now doctors fear me.
BIG BIRD: Can you help me, Joe?
DAVIDSON: Oh, sure thing, Big Bird. You see, I took Carlos Mencia down, I can take COVID. Here’s some zinc and ayahuasca and some horse medicine.
BIG BIRD: Well, why would a bird take horse medicine?
DAVIDSON: I’m a human and I took horse medicine and I’m speaking of things that are horse-like.
Joe Rogan stopped by Cruz Street… pic.twitter.com/YAaadm2reH
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) November 14, 2021
Below are just a few of the most notable responses to the clip:
- Ben Shapiro, The Daily Wire: “Every time I think the comedic community has hit the bottom of the comedy barrel, they somehow find a new level of unfunniness.”
- Tim Dillon, comedian: “People saying SNL hasn’t been funny since the 70s are wrong. Farley, Rock, Sandler, Meyers, Norm.. Cheri Oteri and Molly Shannon were brilliant. Tracey Morgan! Also the Hader/McKinnon era was funny. It’s maybe the singular greatest US comedy platform. But this sketch was BAD. And not bad because of made fun of Joe or Ivermectin. But it did it in the laziest way possible. It was talking points and not jokes. Comedy shows can have a point of view: mine does. But it should also occasionally have comedy.”
- Lisa De Pasquale, author: “Joe Rogan talking about this sketch will be funnier than anything on SNL in the last 10 years — and be to a bigger audience.”
- Eric July, rapper: “Who the f*** is even laughing at this s**t, aside from how terrible it is?”
- Matt Whitlock, political strategist: “SNL thought they had a hit with female cast members dressed as Republicans with Melissa McCarthy so they’ve done it several more times and none have been close to the first. Now it’s just for claps, not laughs.”
- Kyle Mann, The Babylon Bee: “Why are liberals so bad at comedy.”
- Frank Fleming, The Babylon Bee: “If they have to come up with a sketch a day and are part-timers — only have an hour or less to come up with something — this is acceptable.”
- Chad Zumock, comedian: “Shane Gillis dodged a bullet. This was embarrassing.”
- Ryan Hanley, businessman: “This is sad… Even if you hate @joerogan …ugh…this is embarrassing and sad.”
- Pat Dixon, comedian: “Said this two yrs ago but @Shanemgillis dodged a bullet.”
- Johnny Bell, comedian: “Cancel SNL. Not because of their obvious political agenda, but because it’s awful now. So sad.”
- Andrew Kloster, attorney: “They have to self-consciously be seeking cringe views. there has to be a point in a market economy where self-parody is a strategy.”
- Paul Thacker, athlete: “God this is just awful. Wow.”
- Katherine Brodsky, writer: “As you know, I’m generally against cancelling things & I used to love SNL. But if this is it, if this is something they feel proud to put out…pulling the plug might be the most kind thing to do.”
- Zaid Jilani, writer: “If you go to any improv theater in America you’ll find much funnier stuff than what’s on SNL. Support your local improv scene!”
- Hodgetwins, comedians: “This is cringy even for SNL.”
- Chris Wilson, political strategist: “What’s really stunning is some people wrote this and thought it was funny. And then, presumably, read it to people who also thought it was funny.”
- Ian Miles Cheong, writer: “State-sanctioned comedy. This is what passes under the establishment now. You’re permitted to laugh at this. You’re not permitted to laugh at Dave Chappelle’s jokes about trans people.”
- Buck Sexton, radio host: “It’s not fair to compare this to Pravda. Pravda was much funnier than this.”