Saturday Night Live Redefines TV in the Time of Social Distancing


“SNL at work” by lonelysandwich is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Milan Patel, Staff Writer

While we are all living a new normal, many things are still changing. Because of the new social distancing rules, our favorite television shows are no longer being aired. However, there is not much we can do at home but binge-watch TV, and this includes Saturday Night Live. SNL is in its 45th season and is still going strong with its hilarious stand-up monologues and award-winning sketches. However, unlike some other TV shows, SNL is still up and running with new episodes every Saturday at 11:30pm. 

Questions on how SNL would do a show without the hosts being near each other had arisen, but they were quickly answered when the first social distancing episode aired in April. The show has adjusted to the times, and episodes now include funny skits with the usual cast at home and talking to each other to create the sense that they are still on set. One example of this is the Weekend Update segment with Colin Jost and Michael Che. This segment contains jokes about current events , and Jost and Che talk about everything from small incidents to global issues. SNL has kept this segment alive by having these two tell jokes and talk through a video chat platform. The show has also had other people on the video chat laugh like they are still on set. This format was ingenious, and many students in our community agree, including freshman Sophie Jaffe and freshman Jared Sandberg. Jaffe said, “SNL is one of my favorite shows and I knew that when social distancing started that I was going to be watching a lot of television. I was so happy to hear that they had still found a way to make the show great.” According to Jaffe, this is a good way to keep people entertained while they are at home, which is a difficult task right now. 

Sandberg says,” I wish other shows would continue to do this because I am getting bored after  binge-watching all the good shows.” Sandberg agrees and he, like the rest of us, is getting a little anxious to get out of our house. However, shows like SNL are helping to make quarantine a bit easier with its new format, of which other shows should take notice.