The most potent bit of satire in this weekend’s Saturday Night Live hosted by Amy Schumer was a parody ad. It began as a generic feel-good commercial featuring clips of men and women in various situations, and an inspirational voiceover saying, “Whatever you’re waiting for, whatever you face, whatever you’re looking for, there are things we all share: love, family, connection, a sense of purpose…and also guns.” With this last line, the content changed, but the tone remained the same, as the ad became an inspirational defense of guns, reassuring us of the comfort they should bring to our everyday lives. “Guns are there in little moments, and big ones, when things fall apart, or it all comes together,” the voiceover proclaimed as a series of clips show a woman shooting her gun while on her morning run, a pregnant woman taking her rifle into the hospital, and a woman on a date opening a gift-wrapped pistol. The ad, which ends with the tag, “Guns. We’re here to stay,” makes a fairly subtle point. It does not explicitly argue for or against gun control, instead, it expresses the absurdity of a make-believe gun culture in which young lovers lie in the grass and fire at shooting stars. The ad essentially mocks its own straw man representation of the “more guns” mentality, but the inspirational ad is the vehicle for the satire. In a culture in which guns are “here to stay,” the only option would seem to be a fatalist acceptance, followed by a welcome embrace.
The best portion of SNL’s Weekend Update this week was a back-and-forth between Michael and Colin about guns. “There’s a gun for every man, woman, and child in this country,” said Michael. “I mean, what are we preparing for, a rap beef?” Colin argued this country is obsessed with things we don’t need, like the Baconator, so why would we take away the guns we don’t need? Michael argued there has to be limits by listing things harder to get than a gun, like “a driver’s license, a purple belt in karate, Kevin Hart tickets.” He went on to say Americans can’t have whatever they want. “I know the forefathers said you could own a gun, but they also said you could own people.”
The cold open was a parody of Fox & Friends with Steve Doocy (Taran Killam), Elizabeth Hasselbeck (Vanessa Bayer), and Brian Kilmeade (Bobby Moynihan). This sketch was mainly an absurd representation of Brian Kilmeade’s ignorance as he responded to various replacements for Speaker of the House by saying, of Newt Gingrich, “That’s the man who stole Christmas,” and, of Buzz Aldrin, “He was great in all three Toy Story movies.” But the highlight of the sketch was Kate McKinnon portraying DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz as a crazed feminist talking about Planned Parenthood, comparing the response from women to a bachelorette party that rolls into a bar and destroys everything, shouting, “We’re organized. We’re pissed. And we’re all looking for a pap smear!”