How I see it: SNL is back in production – Could the Landshark Make a Comeback?
Listen to this story:
When I heard that the writers’ strike is over, I wondered what might happen if some of the great SNL writers and casts of the past confronted the issues of today. What I found was an overlooked danger brewing.
(harp music plays)
Vanessa Bayer: Who is it?
Vanessa: Just leave it on the porch
Voice: Oh, um Optimum.
Vanessa: Optimum? You guys never show up!
Voice: Uh, Uber.
Vanessa: Hey – you’re the landshark.
Voice: Dolphin here.
Vanessa: Oh, ok. (opens door)
Narrator: Sharks are moving north up the coast of the US as ocean temperatures rise. Could NYC be their next stop?
Next skit: Matt Foley: First off, I am thirty-five years old. I am thrice divorced, and I live in a van down by the river!
Narrator: That river overflowed due to localized flooding, and the motivational speaker and his van were never seen again.
(Narrator steps out under a spotlight)
Narrator: For decades, audiences worldwide have enjoyed Saturday Night Live’s funny and often viral skits, yet climate change directly threatens comedy sketch writers in New York City and we’ve yet to hear anything from them.
Related Article: How I see it: By Matthew Sekol
How can a writer take the subway to work confidently in the bizarre orange, smoke-filled skies from Canadian wildfires or the recent flash-flooding from tropical storm Ophelia? Will coffee, the basic sustenance of the sketch writer, even be available as farmers globally struggle to adapt?
Climate change represents a somber and complex topic to tackle with comedy. While resonating today for its seriousness, previous attempts to tackle the issue, like the ill-fated, 1991 Climate Change Christmas special starring Mike Myers and Tom Hanks, fall flat against the encyclopedic breadth of SNL’s consistent comedic brilliance.
When every day is so far from normal due to climate change, how can any sketch be considered a ridiculous farce? Surely, sketch comedy writers can only stretch the ridiculous so far before their minds become taxed and shut down. Unfortunately, this isn’t a risk we can take as our entire existence relies on their work.
What becomes of the lowly sketch writer in this new, condemned world? Surely, extinction. Once extinct, pizza, ramen, and coffee sales will fall off in the city. Employees will stop coming into the office to discuss the previous week’s sketches, plunging commercial real estate into further decline. This will spiral across the global economy, bankrupting the financial markets and plunging the world into a dystopian hellscape.
Let’s do our planet and each other a favor by taking action against climate change to save the at-risk sketch comedy writer, a foundation of our modern world, so that we can enjoy the satire again.
This article is contributed by Matthew Sekol. Every week ESG News delivers smart commentary from ESG practitioners and experts to unpack issues of the day. Submit an article for editorial consideration for the ESG Unpacked series here: [email protected]