I have to admit, I didn’t grow up watching Saturday Night Live. When I was in junior high and high school, and all my friends were watching it, I wasn’t really allowed to. And by the time I got to college, I was so used to not watching it, that I continued on that way. Sure, I caught pieces of it here and there, and usually laughed, but it just wasn’t a big part of my life.
After the Ferguson events of 2014, however, I developed a new appreciation for SNL, based on one single sketch that didn’t even make it to the actual show. But that one sketch came at a time when I felt like we really it needed it here in St. Louis. It made me feel less alone, even made me laugh, and that was something, given how tense life in St. Louis had been for months. There was something healing about it.
For the last few months, I’ve seen that play out in my life again. This election season has been tense, contentious, and oftentimes, downright horrible. It has left me feeling alone, and has greatly diminished my faith in mankind. But enter SNL, with their Election 2016 sketches, and once again, I had that feeling that I experienced in 2014. I felt less alone. The fact that SNL was mocking it made it seem less scary, and made me realize that other people were struggling, too. And again, I laughed, when I didn’t think it would be possible.
I’ve always heard that “laughter is the best medicine,” but I guess I didn’t really understand it until recently. I’m glad SNL was there at times when I needed to laugh. A lot of people probably see it and shows like it as just entertainment. But I think there is a greater purpose than just making us laugh…I think it helps heal us, as well. And when Alec Baldwin finally broke character, I think he realized it, too:
“And now it’s time to get out there and vote. None of this will have mattered if you don’t vote.”
Thank you Saturday Night Live, for being the silver lining in the cloud that is Election 2016!