The return of ‘Saturday Night Live’ couldn’t have come at a better time

In 2020, we need laughter more than ever

Saturday Night Live's Presidential Debate skit.
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2020 has been quite a year—from a deadly virus to murder hornets, it’s left us all wondering what could possibly come next. With everything going on, it’s easy to lose hope. But, as a silver lining, this year’s bizarre events are good fodder for a reliable coping mechanism: comedy. 
 
Humour can be a helpful lens to view the crazy events that are stacking up this year. I’ve seen people commenting on how much the future generations will have to learn about 2020 and speculating on what big event might happen next—aliens, perhaps? 
 
A particularly surreal event rife with comedic potential was the 2020 Presidential Debate which took place last Tuesday. Given the state of American politics, the messy debate wasn’t quite as shocking as it might have been if this were any normal election. Even more surprising, the news cycle appears to have moved on already—there are more newsworthy stories to cover that have happened in the week since. 
 
However, the debate's potential for ridicule didn’t go unnoticed by Saturday Night Live which aired a parody of the debate in its 45th season’s premiere. With Alec Baldwin as President Trump, Beck Bennett as moderator Chris Wallace, and Jim Carrey in his debut as Vice President Joe Biden, the 13- minute skitwas bound to be good—and it didn’t disappoint. 
 
Alec Baldwin’s imitation of President Trump was nearly flawless. He matched his facial expressions and voice so perfectly that if I focused, I could almost forget it wasn’t real footage of the President himself. And while Jim Carrey’s portrayal wasn’t as realistic, it still managed to highlight the aspects of the vice president’s performance in the debate that were most memorable. At the end of the skit, Carrey-as-Biden's proposal of “science and karma […] [teaming] up” was a clever wink to President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis.
 
One of the amazing things about Saturday Night Live is that it can take less-than-ideal events and not only bring what many of us are thinking to light, but turn those thoughts into something we can laugh at. That’s why comedy is arguably one of the best ways of handling 2020, or any other unpleasant event—besides a vaccine, of course. Once we start wallowing in the seriousness of our circumstances and forget to have a laugh occasionally, it’s easy to fall into a spiral of hopelessness. 
 
But viewing a situation as hopeless often doesn’t change a thing except  by worsening your mood. If you can see the humour in the situation, it can at least help make you feel better. Then you can approach the issue with a clear head, or at least try your best to laugh and 
move on. 
 
Right now, we need shows like Saturday Night Live more than ever—they help us find humour in difficult situations and show us that we don’t need to take everything seriously all 
the time. 
 
Things happen that we have no power over. But even though we can’t control everything that happens, we have some control over our reactions. Things are difficult—there’s no denying it. But, as the popular saying goes, a day without laughter is a day wasted.  
 

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