If you can make Donald Trump boring, you’re hopeless. I’m watching the clips of Trump’s turn at hosting Saturday Night Live and I’m trying to figure out why it’s so flat. I love Trump! In a heterosexual non-gay kind of way. So it’s not like I’m coming in with a bias to dislike him. It’s just rather obvious it was a flat performance. In a great live performance, the artist feeds off the audience, and the audience feeds off the artist.
The NYT review is saying it was “breezy” but not wow. The Washington Post review was really bad. But then, they hate Trump. They tried to pin it on him. That ain’t right. Hell, there’s electricity at a Trump press conference, let alone a Trump rally where things are really popping! It isn’t Trump, whatever else you think about his politics, he’s a charismatic and magnetic individual. He’s the focus in a room full of people.
Was it the SNL writers? That show will never be the dominant cultural force it was 40 years ago. “Killer Bee’s”, “Land Shark”, “Chevy Chase Weekend Update”, those will never be equaled. But even SNL writers of today can do better than last night. I don’t think it was that. It’s true, the modern day SNL crew is a bunch of no talent bums, but even they are better than that.
Humans have a rather spooky ability for non-verbal communication. We pick up on gestures, the arch of an eyebrow, how tense another persons body is, all kinds of body language. In a live performance you can tell a lot about the audiences reaction even though you can’t see them. The noise they make, the background level, even the reaction of the performer to the audience. You could tell the audience and cast were in a conundrum. It took me about 5 minutes of hard thinking to figure it out.
We know the script. SNL makes fun of politicians right? Everybody running for office gets skewered right? Nope. Every Republican politician gets skewered. Compare the treatment of Hillary Clinton to say Pat Buchanan on SNL. With Hillary they’ll make fun of her predilection for pantsuits. With Buchanan they make him out to be a racist right-wing xenophobe who wants to kick old people out to the street and take food out of the mouths of children and resembles Adolf Hitler. Not quite the same level of satire. Not a whole lot of equivalency there. The whole pantsuit/Hitler thing, there’s a difference.
I think the reason for the flat performance was the internal conflict with the cast and audience. We’ve been told for the entire 40 year run with SNL that Republicans are the enemy. Yet they know they are supposed to have a warm fuzzy for the host. Yet Donald Trump is made fun of 24/7, they know they are supposed to boo and hiss on cue. Yet by hosting, he has the seal of approval. What to do? They can’t think for themselves!!
Nope, the title “death knell” isn’t true of course, SNL has the liberal seal of approval. Everyone knows in the end that SNL is there to advance the agenda of the Left. It was more of a trapeze act without a net, and this time they had butter on their hands. “Like buttah!”