Since 1975, NBC’s hit comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) has entertained millions of fans with its sketch based comedy, outtakes, and radical views displayed throughout. Fans have dubbed the series as a “political comedy show” with such a strong critique on the function of our government. In the midst of the comedy, however, there is also inspiration as shown by comedian Chris Rock on the October 3 2020 broadcast.
As the next election draws near, Rock had delivered a heated, but brutally honest, monologue about the current state of government and society. “We all used to have plans before COVID”, he states, “I know 200,000 Americans are dead, but I’m not seeing any rage against the machine”. He backs up his argument regarding the virus by mentioning that he paid $80,000 for his sister’s wedding, which could not work out due to the spread of COVID-19
Regarding the government, Rock presented some inspirational ideas: “We need to renegotiate our relationship to the government”, Rock states. “I think Joe Biden should be the last President ever. We need a whole new system, OK?” His argument here presents a radical view of government saying that change can only come if we envision the government and the political system in a different view.
This speech, however, did not go without some witty humor. Rock states, “Donald Trump left a game show to run for President because it was easier”. This idea inspires the government to lay down strict rules and regulations regarding the virus and the unfortunate killings that have occurred this year. Another example of humor given during the monologue was when Rock addressed the “elephant in the room”: that Donald Trump tested positive for the virus, to which Rock humorously remarked: “My heart goes out to COVID.”
To many, the most inspirational portion of the address was when Rock references the words of American novelist James Baldwin, “Not everything that can be faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced”. This part of the speech has inspired US citizens to “face” the system of government and demand change for the better. According to peaceful protesters, it “encouraged [US citizens] to take the first step in addressing the flaws of our system of government”. Others called Rock’s performance “funny, but more profound than anything”. The performance had also received a standing ovation from the SNL audience.
“So pleased to have Chris Rock as a season opener”, says one anonymous political activist. “He is as intelligent as he is funny. Thanks for the humor and warmth”.