Start at 5:59 or watch the whole thing, it’s not their best sketch but representative of a recent political situation. In the clip above, the set up of the skit is in the popular “deal or no deal” show in which Kenan Thompson plays Steve Harvey and Alec Baldwin reprises his popular portrayal of Donald Trump. Trump chooses briefcases in which politicians are holding different values (in the briefcase) or they are shown saying or doing something that represents their perceived character. For example, Senator Cory Booker opens his briefcase to simply exclaim “Booker 2020!” because of his well-known candidacy for the upcoming election. Senator Mitch McConnell is also shown referencing his shy turtle-like demeanor and in a next scene as a reference to being blind-folded like in the popular drama film, Bird Box. In this skit there are obvious caricatures of political officials and pop culture icons such as Cardi B. If you are a person watching SNL, it is clear that you must have an affinity for comedy, politics, or popular culture. There are thousands of examples of sketches similar to these as well as ones dealing with less political concepts and more menial references with silly or surprising characters.

Saturday Night Live (SNL) is the longest running network television program in the United States and first aired in 1975 (then called “NBC’s Saturday night). There is typically a celebrity guest star introducing the show and a musical performance in the middle, in addition to the either lengthy or short (5-15 minute) skits throughout the show’s time slot. SNL reflects our society from a comedic and typically liberal perspective on politicized content and a representation of popular culture phenomena and terminology (ex: using words like “lit”, which may also translate to “youth or millennial” culture). Thusly, SNL can also be reduced to a random selection of capitol hill critiques and framed productions of comedic characters and situations that a wide range of media-consuming Americans can interpret. The selected audience for SNL is likely middle-class, politically-aware, socially-aware (or keeps up with popular culture) and liberal-leaning. In terms of a family audience, it may be that in the past families watched SNL together in the living room but today with online streaming perhaps it is a less common occurrence.

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