You are on page 1of 125

“‘Live from New York it's Saturday Night’: The Evolution of Humor as Rhetorical Statement in the 35 Years of Saturday Night


By Maggie Rulli

A Senior Honors Thesis Submitted to the Department of Communication Of Boston College

May 2010

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction



. . . .

. . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 3 12 25 25 26 28 28 28 29 30 32 32 32 33 33 33 34 34 35 35 36

Chapter 2: Literature Review . Chapter 3: Just Humor Me . . Chapter 4: Methodology . .

Humor is Innate and Varied .

Humor as Rhetorical Argument . Three Theories of Humor . Superiority Incongruity Relief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Modern Complementary Theory . Thirteen Comic Devices . Clownish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Logical implausibility . Slapstick . Surprise . . . . . . . . . . .

Misunderstanding . Irony . Satire . Parody . . . . . . . . .

Socially Inappropriate humor . Gross . . . . . . .

Self-deprecation . Invective . Wordplay . . . . .

. . .

. . .

. . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

36 36 37 37 38 38 40 40 45 45 46 47 48 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58

Prior Knowledge Variations . Knowledge of general society

Knowledge of specific information . Chapter 5: Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Representative Episodes .

The use of simple humor forms . Slapstick . Surprise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Clownish .

Mid-Range Humor Types with Little Variation . Logical implausibility . Misunderstanding . Gross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Self-deprecation .

Use of Sophisticated Comic Devices . Satire Irony Parody . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Other Major Differences in Humor Use . Socially Inappropriate humor Invective . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . Some Humor Never Changes . . . . . . . . . . . Varying Degrees of Simple Humor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Satire and Socially Inappropriate Humor . . . . 118 . . Appendix Works Cited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Self-Deprecation in 1975 and 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Wordplay . . Chapter 6: Implications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Parody and Invective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Knowledge of General Society Season thirty-five . . . 58 59 60 62 66 67 74 74 74 75 76 77 78 80 82 84 Knowledge of general society versus specific information Season one . . . . Prior Knowledge of Specific Information and How We Get It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Prior Knowledge of General Society and Social Commentary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 7: Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Knowledge of Specific Information . . . . . .

irony. gross humor.Abstract Humor is a rhetorical device that is innate to all humans regardless of culture. two types of previous information are required for audience appreciation and amusement: prior knowledge of general society and prior knowledge of specific information. parody. while season thirtyfive’s audience must have a detailed prior knowledge of specific information. satire. This article examines the use of humor in Saturday Night Live by using a comparative analysis of the comedy in SNL season one contrasted with SNL season thirty-five. invective. In addition. origin. The viewers of season one must have a broad prior knowledge of general society. . logical implausibility. Season thirty-five’s frequent use of parody in addition to its dependence on prior knowledge of specific information imply that the SNL audience of 2010 has access to large amounts of ubiquitous information. while parody and invective are common to season thirty-five. Thirteen comedic devices are utilized as tools for analytic assessment: clownish/silly. slapstick. self-deprecation. It is revealed that satire and socially inappropriate humor dominate season one. socially inappropriate humor. or generation. Season one’s high occurrence of socially inappropriate humor coupled with its need for prior knowledge of general society suggest controversial issues of culture and tradition are important to the SNL audience of 1975. misunderstanding. The following comparative analysis of SNL season one to season thirty-five reveals that the humor of each season reflects the cultural values of that generation. and wordplay. surprise.

two types of previous information are required for audience appreciation and amusement: prior knowledge of general society and prior knowledge of specific information. Your local news has just ended and your TV is tuned in to NBC. Whether it is the cast of 1975 or 2010. satire. Suddenly. Superiority theory. logical implausibility. 1 . every Saturday night for the past thirty-five years. wordplay. Comedy is comprised of thirteen comedic devices: slapstick. parody. Humor provides rhetorical argument under the guise of comic relief. irony. as well as providing justification for humor’s rhetorical power. or Fred Armisen is addressing the American people as President Obama. incongruity theory and relief theory offer various explanations for people’s reactions to comedy. they are making a choice to positively respond to the rhetor’s humorous argument. invective and self-deprecation.1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION It is 11:35 on Saturday night. or perhaps Garret Morris is asking if he can be the one who welcomes the audience to Saturday night. Both methods of examination are used to conduct a comparative analysis of Saturday Night Live season one to season thirty-five. gross. The ever evolving comedy of Saturday Night Live reflects the changes in societal beliefs and reveals what each generation values as humor. surprise. When the audience laughs. a sketch comedy group of “not ready for prime time players” has entertained millions of Americans. In addition. clownish. The following offers a framework for humor analysis. Chevy Chase is sitting at a desk reading letters. misunderstanding. socially inappropriate.

its cast members. as well as a discrepancy in the types of prior knowledge needed in each season. Chapter 6 examines possible implications and provides a conclusion. humor theories.2 This analysis revealed multiple variations in the use frequency of the thirteen comedic devices. the methodology chapter. Season one’s high occurrence of socially inappropriate humor coupled with its need for prior knowledge of general society suggest controversial issues of culture and tradition are important to the SNL audience of 1975. Chapter 3 includes background information about Saturday Night live. while season thirty-five’s audience must have a detailed prior knowledge of specific information. Chapter 4. 2 . while parody and invective are common to season thirty-five. Satire and socially inappropriate humor dominate season one. the thirteen comedic devices and the two categories of required previous information. These incongruities have grand implications on each generation’s society and culture. The viewers of season one must have a broad prior knowledge of general society. Season thirty-five’s frequent use of parody in addition to its dependence on prior knowledge of specific information imply that the SNL audience of 2010 has access to large amounts of ubiquitous information. its structure and its history is provided. The following comparative analysis of SNL season one to season thirty-five reveals that the humor of each season reflects the cultural vlaues of that generation. Chapter 5 uses this framework as the structure for a comparative analysis of three episodes from season one and three episodes from season thirty-five. Chapter 2 contains a brief review of relevant literature on humor and its various effects on society. supplies an in depth explanation of humor.

relief and incongruity are further analyzed as distinct yet interdependent theories of humor in Monick Buijzen and Patti M Valkenburg’s article. Humor is unsuccessful if the audience can find no use for the argument the joke contains. critiques. parody and satire are used as comic devices within three theories of humor. Comic devices. In the chapter “The Rhetoric of Humor” from their book. Superiority. Communication Criticism: Approaches and Genres. comedy can still fail. and interprets contemporary events” (Rybacki 313). it is important to examine past comedic literature and humor research. incongruity theory claims that people use humor to try to “understand things that do not appear to make sense” (Rybacki 323). Freud’s relief theory suggests that people laugh as a way of releasing the energy that builds up from forbidden thoughts and feelings” (Rybacki 323). and several scholars have studied the pervasiveness and impact of humor on society.” or generational differences disrupt the meaning of the comedy (Rybacki 325). Humor is an essential element to the human condition. Rybacki and Rybacki discuss humor as a universal yet culturally and “time-bound communication genre. such as word play. Superiority theory stems from ancient Greek assertions that “laughter expresses a person’s feeling of superiority over others” (Rybacki 321). It evaluates. they cannot understand the joke’s topic because they do not know the necessary information the comic assumed they knew. and an audience to receive and understand the intended message.3 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW To best understand the rhetorical significance of SNL’s humor. Lastly. “Developing a 3 . Even with this structured framework for humor. Humor is a commutative genre that is equally dependent on a rhetor to deliver a message. irony. they feel the humorist has taken the joke “too far. invective.

Identification or differentiation humor “occurs when humor creates an internal perception that increases an in-group cohesiveness and validates commonly held perceptions. Satire and irony are generally defined by superiority theory. while relief theory justifies slapstick humor. culture and socioeconomic status become more important at this stage.4 Typology of Humor in Audiovisual media. absurdity and sexual allusion are favored. satire. Simultaneously. surprise and misunderstanding characterize the simplest form of humor and can be explained by incongruity theory. Clownish. and parody. Slightly more complicated forms of humor. In his article.” Owen Lynch further analyzes the three theories of humor and discusses the importance of humor on a societal level. sarcasm and incongruity humor. yet many categories can be explained by multiple theories (Buijzen 162). Clownish humor. characterize Middle childhood. Early childhood was marked by simple forms of incongruity humor. misunderstanding. Gender. (Buijzen 162). “Humorous Communication: finding a place for humor in communication research. this humor excludes individuals or groups who do not have knowledge of the in-group’s references” (Lynch 434). Only those 4 . such as wordplay. although puns and slapstick remain widely popular (Buijzen 152). although slapstick and invective remain popular (Buijzen 151). Irreverent behavior and gross humor that express social taboos and disgust are also prevalent (Buijzen 151). irony. In adolescence. These humor categories and corresponding humor theories were applied to various stages of human development. visual surprise and physical humor (Buijzen 150). such as clownish behavior. more sophisticated comedy such as puns. irony. surprise.” In addition to these theories. He focuses on comedy’s impact on and function within society (Lynch 423). seven humor categories were identified: Slapstick. Adulthood is distinguished by diversity.

hand gestures.” while all non-minority audiences become outsiders (Schulman 2). As a result. Identification humor can reinforce the boundaries of social groups. Dress surveyed more than 200 college students in the North and the South and asked them to complete scenarios with varying degrees of sarcastic results (Dress 73). pitch and tone of voice that are then attributed only to the comedy of a particular minority group.” Megan Dress discusses differences in the use and comprehension of sarcasm in diverse regions of the county. double entendres. Dress found that the northern sample provided “significantly more sarcastic completions” than students from the South (Dress 79). Conversely. Those who understand the minor discourse become members of the “in-group. it can also be used as a function of resistance by releasing tension within an oppressed group (Lynch 435). Other noteworthy findings on sarcasm use include 5 . Comedy can establish certain codes in the form of wordplay. In “Regional Variation in the Use of Sarcasm. Multiple variances beside differences in discourse affect one’s ability to understand a particular type of humor. This role reversal is directly opposite the power balance most often found in society. This minor discourse emphasizes the contrast between minority and non-minority because only members of the minority group understand the humor (Schulman 1). slang.5 who understand the joke are allowed to partake in the group. this humor can be used as a means to control certain minority groups. Nora Schulman depicts humor as a mode of resistance in “The House that Black Built: Television Stand-up Comedy as a Minor Discourse.” Schulman asserts that comedy nurtured the creation of a subculture by aiding in the formation of a minor discourse: “a system of blatantly stylized communication that is perpetuated by an oppressed group to cement its own distinctive identity” (Schulman 1).

Humor gives status and power to the person who makes others laugh. boys are seen using humor as an invective tool to a much higher degree than women (Kotthoff 13). Kotthoff finds gender’s role in humor especially compelling and examines women comedic role across four factors: status. In her article. A woman’s attempt at humor would be seen as act of aggression and taken as a competitive challenge to the men in the office (Kotthoff 9). In the 1950s. agressivity.” Helga Kotthoff claims that “in all cultures. people joke about sex. such as teasing. Aggression through humor is associated with men and also seen as not womanly. Humor is a socially acceptable way to humiliate others. Women often joke about “shared experiences of disappointment. Women tend to use humor to produce intimacy and familiarity. Gender also has the ability to affect one’s views on humor. it was observed that women rarely told jokes in the workplace. different regions of the country view sarcasm and verbal irony very differently. of having to deal with difficult people. Clearly. Lastly. further emphasizes gender boundaries.6 the fact that males use slightly more sarcasm than females. It provides the comic with high situational status and dominance in the hierarchical social structure (Kotthoff 8). This challenge would offset the office’s social hierarchy and was viewed as un ladylike. people in the North find the use of sarcasm to be more humorous than people in the South. social alignment and biting. and most people from the South do not like statements with ambiguity (Dress 79). Contact with the opposite sex is often the topic of teasing at a young age and enforces 6 . biting humor. Jokes are particularly suitable for dealing with such taboo topics… sexually explicit jokes play an important culture-transcending role” (Kotthoff 16). and as early as age three. and of overcoming the constraints in their lives” (Kotthoff 15). Since these sexual jokes often reference women. “Gender and Humor: The State of the Art.

shoes can’t talk” (Bell 1827). functions of interjections such as “okay” or “mmm. social relationship was highly significant. It was recorded that factors such as age and gender had little influence on responses. rhetorical questions that often functioned as a challenge to the speaker. were among the least frequent reactions” (Bell 1825). and nonverbal responses such as eye rolling and head shaking (Bell 1829). metalinguistics that commented on the joke itself. Bell also studied the type of person that responded in each way. while strangers and acquaintances will tend to use more neutral responses” (Bell 1825). regional location and gender are only a few factors that cause an audience to not understand certain humor. They found that the top seven responses to failed humor in order of frequency were: laughter as a means to recognize the speaker’s attempt at humor. Social relatedness is a key factor in determining the outcome of failed humor. “however. groaning and laughter.7 gender differences (Kotthoff 16). Most striking to these findings is that the “Prototypical reactions to a failed joke. suggesting that responses to failed humor among intimates will be most direct and negative. The use of humor creates a separation between what society views as “lady like” and culture finds funny. “Responses to failed humor. 7 .” evaluations that assessed the joke in some way.” Bell and her colleagues “focused solely on responses to attempts at humor that failed because they were not amusing to the audience” (Bell 1827). by studying how people responded to the arguably not too funny joke: “What did the shoe say to the other shoe? Nothing. Nancy Bell reacts to instances of failed humor by outlining reactions to failed jokes in her article. Differences in group distinction. Women often find themselves at the crossroads of this divide. sarcasm in the form of facetious evaluations.

Working within this basic rhetorical framework. By creating a stage persona and employing standard narrative tools. Andrea Greenbaum enumerate one such step in “Stand-up comedy as rhetorical argument: An investigation of comic culture. pathos 8 . Aristotelian Joker. reversal. and Administrator Extraordinaire.” Diogenes. Mark Feldman elaborates on the rhetorical styling of comedy in his interview with Marvin Diogenes. a comedian must establish his or her ethos as a rhetor in order to persuade the audience. The comedian can achieve comic ethos by practicing self-deprecating humor in order to connect himself with the audience. or talking about topics that both the comedian and the audience have in common in order to identify with the audience (Greenbaum 41). the comedian can establish ethos. the rhetor can further employ the classic rhetorical framework by observing the “standard narrative tools of comedy – incongruity.8 Steps to avoid failed humor and achieve comedic success can be taken. Laughing Matters. exaggeration. mimicry. or stage persona (Greenbaum 45).” Greenbaum asserts that “comic narrative is rhetorical in nature. punning – comedians used their comic voices to control the rhetorical dimensions of their speech” (Greenbaum 34). mockery. it is inherently designed to persuade an audience to adapt a particular world view. wants to “situate comedy squarely in the rhetorical tradition” (Feldman 1). changing his dialogic style to portray himself as a common man and fit in with the audience. In comedy. and by working within a classically rhetorical framework” (Greenbaum 45). it should be considered “a fundamental rhetoric appeal. “Marvin Diogenes: Funny Guy. Humor is such a central element of rhetoric. ascertain credibility as a humorist. and achieve comedic success. sexual hyperbole. the author or. this ethos is the basis of a comic authority. alongside ethos. In addition to ethos.

one uses laughter to correct the behavior and warn others not to behave in this manner. Humor is a fundamental. The results found that the “use of humor in a PSA increased positive emotion.” In their study. Spotts analyzed whether 9 . necessary and essential part of rhetoric. This conclusion asserts that the use of humor in persuasive messages increased the degree of perceived credibility of the message. It also reduced psychological resistance. Humor’s persuasive capabilities have been studied and revered by advertisers for years. Comedy is “persuasive in that it exposes behavior that is not admirable” (Feldman 1). Ultimately. With roughly 30% of the $150 billion annually spent on advertising going to the placement of humorous ads. “Effects of Humor on Presence and Recall of Persuasive Messages. They studied 58 students and analyzed their responses to a PSA intended to be humorous. Advertisers continue to be concerned with humor’s ability to persuade. Ron Tamborini. It also predicted increased perceived credibility” (Skalski 147). a state in which one responds to a persuasive message by taking an opposing position to the advocated one in an attempt to restore personal freedom (Skalski 138). Society uses humor. Harlan Spotts. humor has positive effects on persuasive messaging. Ed Glazer and Sandi Smith study the affects of the amusement that results from humor’s use. advertisers have invested much time and money into humor (Spotts 1).9 and logos… humos – the humorous appeal” (Feldman 1). and another PSA with no humor. as a form of social corrective.” Paul Skalski. Marc Weinberger and Amy Parsons study the effectiveness of these humorous ad placements in “Assessing the Use and Impact of Humor on Advertising Effectiveness: A Contingency Approach. and laughter in particular. When one observes behavior that is immoral or wicked. Positive emotion predicted diminished psychological reactance. In the article.

Cognitive mechanisms parallel incongruity theory and relate to the structure of the message (Spotts 18). While many studies have analyzed humor’s persuasive effect on advertisements. Jesse Teel. sentimental humor. flashy items and functional tools do not show any large degree of benefit from humor (Spotts 21). Intentional relatedness refers to how the humor is connected to message type and message processing.10 advertisers’ use of humor is warranted by the resulting influence humor had on advertising performance. full comedy (Spotts 19). as well as inexpensive everyday products.” They found 10 . Extravagant. Spotts and his colleagues concluded that the use of humor in persuasive advertising should be limited to expensive but functional products. These humor types are utilized within the three mechanisms that govern humor. William Bearden and Richard Durand compare daytime and late night radio and television audiences in “Psychographics of Radio and Television Audiences. Lastly. Humor has varying effects on message effectiveness. Affective Mechanisms are similar to Freud’s relief theory and involve the release of energy (Spotts 18). It reflects whether it is the humor or the message that is dominant in the statement (Spotts 18). Spotts identified five humor types: comic wit. Incongruity humor and message dominance were found to be generally most successful (Spotts 21). thematic relatedness. Interpersonal Mechanisms relate to the social context or setting within which the humor occurs and is comparable to superiority theory (Spotts 18). is the relationship between humor and message content (Spotts 19). sentimental wit. Structural relatedness represents the relationship between humor and the message. It studies if the humor is integrated with the core elements of the message (Spotts 19). humor’s important role in television programming has not been studied to the same degree. satire. Spotts also recognizes that these theories coexist with the typology of the relatedness of humor.

Baek studied late night comedy’s effect on political knowledge by using a 11 . weak. Compton researched jokes from Jay Leno’s. Incredibly prevalent amid late night humor research are studies analyzing the use of political humor and its effects on public awareness. long. and more fashion conscious than non-late night TV viewers” (Teel 55).11 that daytime TV watchers were more old fashioned. This type of person generally favors the comedic content featured on late night television programming. The content of late night programming has also been analyzed. while fringe. Yet these late night monologues suggest the message that heart patients are “frail. “Serious as a Heart Attack: Health-Related Content of Late Night Comedy Television. while others argues it only increases the public’s ignorance (Baek 733). The content of late night humor has the ability to alter messages and persuade an audience.” Josh Compton studied late night programming’s portrayal of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s heart condition. The medical community promotes the message that heart patients can live healthy. These jokes portrayed Cheney as frail. In his article. more outgoing and individualistic. and living on borrowed time” (Compton 149). more concerned with servicequality considerations. late night TV audiences were less old-fashioned.” Baek acknowledges the debate among scholars in which some groups argue late night comedy increases political knowledge. Young Min Baek and Magdalena Wojcieszak investigate political humor on late night programming in their article. “Don't expect too much! Learning from late-night comedy and knowledge item difficulty. David Letterman’s and Conan O’Brien’s monologues and analyzed all humor that referenced Cheney’s heart condition. near death and destined for frequent hospitalizations (Compton 149). productive lives.

current events or discussion of pending legal cases and was freer in its language than any other network program” (Pekurny 96). “’Saturday Night Live’ and Weekend Update. and found that late night comedies increase knowledge (Baek 735).” which has been a regular institution of “Saturday Night Live” since its first year.” Aaron Reincheld examines the reoccurring segment.’” Robert Pekurny provides a detailed outline for the production process of Saturday Night Live. religion. In particular. many staff members and various NBC executives agreed that “SNL “went further” in dealing with topics such as sex.” and “Weekend Update” is a critical element in this satire (Reincheld 12 .” In “The Production Process and Environment of NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live. Pekurny hopes to eventually develop a theory to explain the content of these culturally important television programs (Pekurny 91). Reincheld claims that “Saturday Night Live” has “played a pivotal role in cultivating American TV satire. Other studies have taken a deeper look into “Saturday Night Live” and have studied individual segments of the sketch program. this increase in comprehension was noted among those citizens who previously knew very little about politics. Pekurny asserts that NBC’s Broadcast Standards Department (BSD). Late night comedy’s role in the political landscape has remained a common debate among rhetoric scholars. Pekurny also critiques “Saturday Night Live’s” unique relationship with the censors of programming. In his article. some studies have specifically analyzed the television show “Saturday Night Live. “Weekend Update. “Saturday Night Live” has a distinctive production process and a rare relationship with the censors. Among this research on late night humor. and primarily involved easy political items (Baek 755).12 meta-analysis across 35 political items. By studying the process by which television programs take form.

Executive producer Lorne Michels intended for “SNL and weekend update especially to be considered a serious voice in the American political landscape and to serve an informational purpose” (Reincheld 191). and actors mimic actual broadcaster’s catch phrases. and its continued domination of late night comedic programming. Saturday Night Live has provided social commentary on current cultural events. By taking their work as satirist seriously. “Weekend Update” is made to look as much like a real news broadcast as possible. people. the stories are truthful headlines ripped off the front page. Since its beginnings in 1975. the cast and crew of “Saturday Night Live” has given a “mainstream voice to alternative points of view” and questioned “publicly the system and governmental leaders” (Reincheld 196). The actors who play the anchors use their real names. the writers’ creative processes. and those who anchored and wrote for the show viewed it as a way to voice an opinion about the world around them to a mass audience” (Reincheld 192). “Weekend Update” was part of our country’s “counterculture. 13 .13 190). and traditions for over thirty-five years. The following sections discusses the creation of Saturday Night Live.

com/saturday-night-live) The first season of SNL began in 1975. Michaels sought to create an entirely innovative and unique television show that radically departed from all other television shows of its time. The Saturday night time slot was originally filled by reruns of “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. live television from the 1950s with raw. current events that pushes the envelope. a writer on the hit TV show “Laugh In. 1975. raw. It has permeated our country’s culture and become a staple of late night television programming across generational lines. and challenge conventions.” After a decade of reruns. In 1974.” to develop an original program for Saturday night. Michael’s presence has remained one of the few stable and unvarying factors in the show’s otherwise turbulent cast (www. Every Saturday night. This new show would be edgy. The National Broadcast Company (NBC) sought to capitalize on its popular late night franchise.14 CHAPTER 3 JUST HUMOR ME “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) first aired on October 11th. politically conscious. For the past thirtyfive years. Besides a brief five-year hiatus when he left NBC. it’s Saturday Night!” (www.nbc. Michaels’ vision for SNL has remained the one constant throughout the shows storied thirty-five year history. Moreover. satirical comedy program that combines the aspects of traditional. Ebersol approached Lorne Michaels. NBC executives asked producer Disk Ebersol to create something new. by featuring late night programming on Saturday SNL has pioneered an edgy. 14 .nbc. millions of households across America tune in to hear: “Live from New York. “The Tonight Show”.

com/1992/10/05/nyregion/chronicle-408292.” At the end of her set. NBC phone lines received over 4000 complaints. action packed environment (www.html). SNL represents a retreat to the traditional production of television. this pressure cooker atmosphere has produced moments of immense creativity. Dressed in all white and baring a bald head. SNL has been taped live. “fight the real enemy. and classic comedy sketches. SNL has continued to push the boundaries of what is acceptable. while incorporating the controversial and extreme themes of modern Live taping creates a tension filled. yet it also can provide the ability to surprise producers with unrehearsed performances that ignite controversy. at 11:29:30 EST from studio 8H in 30 Rockefeller Center. without a tape delay. Ashlee 15 . run dry. While performing her second song. creating raw and original programming that has stood the test of time. Over the years. While radical in 1975. Since its first episode. and the Federal Communication Commission fined the network (www. and lack comedic inspiration. Two such incidents involved Sinead O’Connor in 1992 and Ashlee Simpson in 2004. The most unique aspect of SNL is its live taping.NBC. In 2004 America was talking about another SNL controversy. O’Connor revealed a photo of Pope John Paul II. “War. SNL’s live taping creates authentic programming.” as she preceded to slowly tear up the photo of the pope. It is this sense of the immediate and unforeseen that drives SNL towards the edge. It has also generated sketches that are dull. live television was common in the television of the 1950s.15 In accordance with Michaels’ original vision. and proclaimed. flashes of actors out of character. the Irish pop singer Sinead O’Connor was a striking sight as she sang acapella to the Bob Marley song. Her controversial action set shockwaves throughout the nation.

Common topics for SNL’s humor include current events. guests are able to dress however they want.html). pre-recorded comedic shorts. pop culture. SNL’s live taping creates unrefined. Ultimately. and of SNL as a live program (www. SNL’s producers agreed to have Carlin wear a jacket. Today.” In addition to the SNL resident cast. every episode features a guest host who delivers an opening monologue and appears in many of the show’s sketches. SNL utilizes various types of humor. one cast member will break character and deliver SNL’s most famous line: “Live from New York. but remained adamant about him wearing just a plain T-shirt (snltranscripts. In 1775. SNL begins with a cold open.nbc. At the end of the cold open. SNL is comprised of multiple sketches. Defined as a comedy and variety show. George Carlin.16 Simpson began mouthing the words to one song as another played on a recording. SNL producers asserted this dress would contradict the show’s relaxed and laid back quality. This open highlights a major event from the previous week and generally lasts for three to five The general tone and attitude of SNL is best expressed in one of the first big battles between the producers of SNL and NBC network yet it also creates the foundation for controversial actions. to dress in formal attire. Before the guest host’s opening monologue. Simpson’s lip synching controversy questioned the authenticity of her abilities as an artist. but it is best known for its sharp wit and satire. it’s Saturday Night!” (www.nytimes. The show also features a musical guest who generally performs two or three songs. original and exciting programming every Saturday Night. political commentaries and contemporary and casual clothes 16 . network executives wanted the first SNL host. Heated arguments lasted the entire week leading up to the first show. and the news segment “Weekend Update.

Without consistent cast members. Joan Cusack. there are an additional four or five featured players who appear occasionally. Amy Poeler and many notable others. Martin Short. Chris Rock. (www. Dan Aykroyd. While innovative and clearly successful. John Belushi. it appears America loves the 17 . Billy Jon Lovitz. and has proven to be incredibly successful over thirty-five years. this distinctive group of ever changing comedians have become better known by their group name: “The not ready for prime time players. The provocative humor featured on SNL infiltrated late night comedy. Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Adam Sandler. Tina Fey. Norm McDonald. Mike Myers. Comprised of roughly eight repertory players who appear in most skits. Jane Curtin. Gilda Radner. drugs. Jimmy Fallon. Yet after 35 years and 88 cast members.Museum. Dana Carvey. Chris Farley. Damon Waynes. it is difficult to predict the likability and success of each new and different staff. Since its creation in 1975.” The SNL cast was originally created as a place for rising comedians to hone their craft for a few years before moving on to prime time television and feature film. politics and ethnicity became the foundation of SNL humor. Will Ferrell. This system mirrors the farm system of major league baseball. religion. David Spade. The cast of SNL is as unique as the show itself. some critics argue that the revolving door of cast members creates an omnipresent doubt over SNL’s success ever year. Phil Hartman. Famous SNL alum who used the late night show as a stepping stone are Chevy Chase. and has become a mainstay of late night humor. Dennis Miller. The renegade move of wearing a simply T-Shirt led to the destruction of other restrictions previously established by the networks. Bill Murray. Jokes about sex.17 are widely expected and accepted by the audience. Eddie Murphy. Kevin Nealon.

and is best known for her sketches of “Roseanne Roseannadanna”. Dan Aykroyd stayed with SNL for four seasons and is best remembered for his talented impersonations. having the number one album in the U.S. Laraine Newman created the characters Sheri The Valley Girl. During her five year stint at SNL. Cast members of the first season of SNL (1975-76) include: Chevy Chase. Chevy Chase stayed at SNL for one season and is best known for his role as the first anchor of SNL’s reoccurring segment. The rotating cast of SNL is the one of the show’s most innovative and prominent features. Saturday Night Live. and Fletch (http://snl.18 excitement and originality of each fresh SNL cast. Chevy Chase is a perfect case study for the success of SNL’s rotating cast structure. and Laraine Newman. Gilda Radner.S. both of which were made into films. Chase was arguably the biggest star of SNL season one. as well as his sketches of the “Coneheads” and “Blues Brothers”. Dan Aykroyd... John Belushi. Animal House. as well as her spoof of Barbara 18 . and became SNL’s first break out star. Gilda Radner remained at SNL for five seasons. and being on the highest rated late night television program. Jane Curtin. and multiple others (www. Chase ventured into films and soon gained critical acclaim and success in films such as Caddyshack. John Belushi. remained at SNL for four seasons. Weekend Update. George the National Lampoon’s Vacation Chase’s career path is a perfect example of the success of SNL’s revolving cast The Blues Brothers: Brief Case full of Blues. During 1979. and it is something that the audience has come to love and expect. Chase was hired as a writer and appeared as the anchor on Weekend Update during the first season of SNL in 1975.jt. Garrett Morris. Connie Conehead. Belushi is credited with starring in the number one film in the U.

Garrett Morris was with SNL for five season and portrayed the well known character Chico Escuela. Ryan Seacrest. During Andy Samberg’s first season with SNL in 2005. Anderson Cooper. anchor of “Weekend Update. Kenan Thompson and Kristen Wiig. His impersonations of President Barack Obama as well as New York governor David Patterson have garnered much attention and criticism. claiming the show stereotyped him as a black performer (www. Seth Meyers has been with SNL for nine seasons and is currently a cast member. “Dick in a Box”. Tom Cruise and Peyton Manning among others.” Both Samberg and his rap parody quickly became Internet sensations. Will Forte has worked with SNL for eight seasons and is recognized for his impersonation of President Bush. Morris is often cited as being uphappy with his tenure at SNL. The first group of “not yet ready for prime time players” was a dynamic cast that forever changed the way the world viewed late night television.19 Walters as “Baba Wawa. Andy Samberg. “Jizz in My 19 . He also stars in the sketch. MacGruber. Prince Charles. After four seasons with SNL. he appeared in the SNL digital short. He is a talented impersonator and can be recognized as John Kerry.” and co-head writer of SNL. a Dominican baseball player who spoke limited English.” Jane Curtin stayed at SNL for five seasons. “Lazy Sunday. and was successful in her roles as a straight comedian opposite the outrageous characters of Bill Murray and John Belushi. Seth Meyers. which has been made into a film. Donald Trump Jr. Bill Hader has developed various memorable characters including Nitro from Laser Cats and co-host of the Hollywood Dish segment. Will Forte. Cast members of the most recent season of SNL (2009-10) include: Fred Other Samberg digital shorts Brian Williams. She is also well known for her role in the famous “Conehead” sketches. Bill Hader. Jason Sudeikis. Fred Armisen has been wirh SNL for six seasons.

20 Pants” which has over 74 million views on youtube. Ultimately. and Abby Elliot was born in 1987 (www. Nashim Pedrad and Abby Elliot.” Kenan Thompson has been with SNL for seven seasons and is known for his over the top characters like Deandre Cole. Preparation for the show begins on Monday during meeting in which the biggest news stories of the week are discussed as potential topics for the show’s cold open. Bobby Moynihan was born in 1977. Kenan Thompson was born May in 1978. Her multiple reoccurring characters have become well known staples of SNL programming and include: Penelope the one-upper. Interestingly. current cast members of SNL season thrity-five are immediately thrust into the Aretha Franklin. Gilly the impish schoolgirl. Jenny Slate was born in 1982. Unlike the unknown cast of the first season of SNL. Andy Samberg was born August 1978. Jason Sudeikis has worked with SNL for six seasons and is best known for his impersonation of Taylor Hicks and Jimmy Stewart.nbc. Audiences eagerly await the arrival of new cast members and fan bases quickly emerge. seven current SNL cast members were born after the show’s premier in 1975. SNL still serves as a foundation of comedic growth and continues to find and develop the talented comedians of tomorrow. The featured players of SNL’s current cast include Jenny Slate. This meeting 20 . He also impersonates Al Roker. as well as for his role as “Male A-hole” in the skit. Kristen Wiig has become a break out star of SNL. and “I’m on a Boat” which was nominated for a grammy. Bobby Moynihan. Sue the excited girl. A show as radical as SNL requires an equally unusual production schedule. a talk-show host whose entire show is an extended musical number. Bill Hader was born in 1978. Nashim Pedrad was born in 1981. Judy Grimes the nervous travel agent and the Target Lady. Bill Cosby and Whoopi Goldberg among others. “Two A-holes. Since her 2005 debut.

After the read-through..m. producers. The host. Up to fifty scripts are typically written per week. sketches are reviewed. producers. musical guests. Thursday is also the day that the writers for Weekend Update began to craft the segment. rewrite. with only a handful being actually seen on air. writers and the guest host. and typically some cast members shoot two to four promotional videos for NBC in order to promote Saturday’s show. writers. costumes. On Friday. At 11 a. the writer of each sketch acts as the producer and organizes the set design. On Saturday afternoon. Typically. and to cut. which typically lasts three hours. and props for that sketch. in which the guest and the producer discuss which of their current songs should be preformed on the show.m. all sketches are run-through on set in front of Michaels.m. During this time. the remainder of the show is blocked. the cast. A dress rehearsal in front of a studio audience occurs at 8 p. the cast and crew of SNL are still far from producing a finished product. on Wednesday. Michaels and other producers watch the show and listen to reactions from the audience. Larger. on Wednesday morning writing scripts. A pitch meeting with the musical guests is also held on Tuesday. Cast and crew learn of all last minute changes when they are posted on a large bulletin board 21 . on Tuesday night and 7 a.m. Much of Weekend Update must be written towards the end of the week in order to ensure the news stories are as current and up to date as possible. During this time. Michaels and the host read through the scripts.21 is followed by a free-form pitch meeting with Michaels. twenty minutes of material is cut after the dress rehearsal.m. revised and rewritten. Michaels and the host have the final say on what sketches are developed further. On Thursday. They use this dress rehearsal as a way to gage the humor of each sketch. or reorder skits where necessary. as well as the musical acts for that week’s show. more elaborate sketches are blocked on set. At 1 p. Writers spend the time between 9 p.

It is ranked tenth on TV Guide’s “fifty greatest TV shows of all time.” listed 69th on Time Magazine’s “100 best TV shows of all time. SNL lost its satirical wit and raw edge. making it one of the longest running network television programs in the United States. Multiple producers attempted to reinvent SNL. Micheals was persuaded to return as well. 22 . SNL has broadcasted over 700 episodes in 35 years. a Peabody award and three Writers Guild of America awards.” and in 2000. SNL has become an institution of the American culture. yet ratings continued to plummet.nbc. after a long week. Finally.nbc. budget cuts and changing cultural trends. Jon Lovitz and Phil Hartman marked this era of classic comedy. Clearly. and studio 8H has seen chaotic and turbulent times. Cast members Dana Carvey. After 35 successful seasons. SNL has survived power struggles. (Pekurny). Micheals left SNL after its fifth season and brought the remainder of the cast with him. SNL has proven to be an incredibly successful television While the general production outline and concept for SNL has remained stable over the years.22 outside of Michael’s office. SNL was inducted into the national association of broadcasters hall of fame (www. Micheals is often credited with ushering in the second golden era of SNL that occurred during the 1980s. and many critics believed it was the end. After being absent for five years. It has won multiple awards. Citing creative differences and contract disputes. Cast and crew must work all week to deliver 90 minutes of live comedy. including 21 primetime Emmys. NBC enticed Ebersol back as producer. The return of Micheals to SNL brought back its satirical and edgy roots (www. the show begins its live taping at 11:35:00 EST.

It’s Pat!. of these catch phrases before. and “Jane.nbc. chances are you have heard one. you up” by Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey as Hanz and Franz. SNL sketches have inspired over ten movies. “you look mah-valous” by Billy Crystal as Fernando. “ Wayne’s World. The biggest grossing and arguably the most influential film created by SNL was Wayne’s World in you ignorant slut” said by Dan Akroyd to Jane Curtain (www. “we’re two wild and crazy guys” by Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd as Czech playboys. Perhaps the best was to emphasize the great impact SNL has had on society is its recognition throughout pop culture and its influence on modern language. “well isn’t that special” by Dana Carvey as the Church Lady. including: Blues Brothers. Wayne’s World. Raking in over 120 million. SNL has permeated our culture and language. 2 Coneheads. While some films have been box office flops. and The Ladies Man.nbc. “we just want to pump. most SNL films follow the path of SNL itself and are very successful. 23 . “schhhhhhhhhhwing” by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth. further reinforcing its popularity and notoriety. that’s the ticket” by Jon Lovitz as the pathological liar. Blues Brothers 2000. Some of the most famous catch phrases include: “I’m Chevy Chase and you’re not” by Chevy Chase as himself on Weekend Update. if not all. and ushered in an era of lucrative SNL inspired films (www. Stuart Saves His Family. Clearly. its success spurred Wayne’s World 2 in 1993. If you have lived in America over the past thirty years.23 SNL has led to the creation of multiple spin-off movies. The writers and cast of SNL have brought us hundreds of well-known catch phrases that are used by millions. A Night at the Roxbury.

24 SNL has become an institution of American culture. Its humor and subject matter reflect the attitudes and beliefs of the society. The following section depicts a method of analysis from which the humor and structure of SNL will be analyzed. 24 .

humor and laughing are essential parts of what it is to be human” (Lynch 423). Superiority. The frequency of these comedic categories reflects the rhetor’s attempt at humor and what that specific person finds humorous.25 CHAPTER 4 METHODOLOGY Humor is a rhetorical device that is innate to all humans regardless of culture. incongruity. origin. These thirteen comedic groups will be outlined and used as the method from which SNL will be analyzed. Many societies construct humor forms and create “a structured way of laughing. and relief are the three main theories of humor that attempt to explain society’s intrinsic need for comedy. Yet cultural and generational distinctions create discrepancies in what a specific person finds humorous. Humor is Innate and Varied Humor has been a part of society throughout every generation. The next section describes thirteen comedic devices that are utilized in the expression of humor. or generation. Humor is used within the individual to discover oneself and is utilized within society to facilitate interactions with others (Lynch 425). Undoubtedly. and all groups utilize and often institutionalize humor within their social 25 . The frequency with which each comedic device is utilized in the first season of SNL in 1975 compared to its most recent season in 2010 reflects what each generation finds funny and highlights the change and consistency of humor over thirty five years. It is ubiquitous and “has no boundaries – it permeates every social context.

It evaluates. As a result. While humor is innate and omnipresent. The combination of a setup and a punch line creates an argument. What is considered hysterical in one culture may be thought odd or even offensive in others. The standards of comedy vary and expose what that particular generation deems comical. Many forms of humor. humor is often demeaned as a passing and insignificant communicative device. the rhetorical process created by the rhetor has been successful.26 structure” (Rybacki 310). critiques. and the audience must “get” the humor used by the rhetor. The logical process of humor is presented by a rhetor as a comical joke. (Rybacki 311) The outcome of the argument persuades the audience to 26 . it is also extremely dependent on both culture and time. Humor as a Rhetorical Argument While many people accept that humor is both prevalent and varied throughout cultures and times. and if the audience understands the punch line. Humor is inherent to what it means to be human. Comedy reflects the changes in cultural trends over time. This essential mutual understanding underscores the fact that humor is a “time-bound communication genre. then they comprehend the argument. such as irony and satire. Humor is a rational process that is best understood by those with great cognitive abilities (Rybacki 311). are intellectual and require a high degree of aptitude to comprehend. The comedic rhetor must relate to the experience of the audience. The punch line should unravel the incongruity of the joke for the audience. However. and this intrinsic comedic core influences and effects the organization of societal interactions. and interprets contemporary events” (Rybacki 313). humor is an extremely cognitive process that holds much rhetorical significance through its use of argument and power shifts.

During these campaigns. humor is often used to parody the opposing candidate and satirize the opposing political party (Lynch 430). The humor has not elicited the response of laughter that the rhetor intended from the comedic argument. humor is used as a rational argument to persuade a group of people to change their beliefs. the joke is considered a failure. As a result. a joke persuades an individual to react a certain way by creating a rhetorical argument.27 react. Yet the audience’s response of silence or groans of disapproval are equally significant reactions to the argument. 27 . When humor is used as an argument. The best example of humor as a communicative power tool is political humor in presidential election campaigns. that person “has momentary control of the situation… humor in formal contexts is linked to high situational status and can affirm one’s dominance in the hierarchical social structure” (Kotthoff 8). When one person makes another person laugh. Regardless of the rhetor’s success in making the audience laugh. or with silence and disapproval if the audience does not accept the joke. or they may believe the humor is too inappropriate (Rybacki 325). humor is an influential and significant form of rhetorical communication. persuade an audience. they may not understand the joke’s topic. it creates shifts in power. Humor can be used as a communicative weapon to gain power. In this manner. either with laughter if the rhetor is successful. Humor fails for multiple reasons: the audience may find no use for the joke’s argument. When the audience does not accept the comedic rhetor’s wit. or convince a culture. This form of comedy is a clear attempt to gain both power and control over the political opponent.

28 Three Theories of Humor When discussing humor as a rhetorical argument, it is important to acknowledge the three main bodies of humor theory: superiority, incongruity, and relief. Each theory attempts to justify human’s innate need for humor and to explain why a society finds certain jokes funny. Superiority Theory Superiority theory dominated the Greek view of humor. Aristotle, Plato and Aristophanes asserted that in its simplest form, “laughter expresses a person’s feeling of superiority over others” (Rybacki 321). The audience laughs when the comedic rhetor makes them feel better than whomever or whatever the joke is about. Laughter is a direct result of “seeing oneself as superior, right, or triumphant, in contrast to another who is inferior, wrong, or defeated” (Buijzen 147). Humor is an emotional function that helps the recipient build self esteem and confidence. Derision, derogatory comments, and general ridicule are all example of superiority humor. Superiority humor accounts for one’s intrinsic need to belong to a group. People use comedy as a mode of rhetoric to solidify their group status as members of the superior group (Rybacki 322). According to superiority theorists, laughter at its core is merely as a tool to differentiate oneself as a superior member of society. Incongruity Theory Incongruity theory emphasizes humor as a cognitive function. For incongruity theorist, humor is a rational process in which people try to “understand things that do not appear to make sense” (Rybacki 323). Laughter stems from the audience’s “recognition


29 that something is inconsistent with the expected rational nature of the perceived environment” (Lynch 428). The comedic rhetor cues the audience to a previously held belief; he then uses humor to persuade the group to look at this belief in a new or innovative way (Rybacki 323). In this manner, humor is used as an “audience-cueing mechanism that helps them recall information they already possess and a vehicle that affords them the opportunity to consider other possible meanings for that information” (Rybacki 323). Absurdity, nonsense, surprise, paradoxes, inappropriate jokes and irrational situations are examples of incongruity humor that ask the audience to respond to the ambiguity within its environment (Buijzen 147). According to incongruity theorist, laughter occurs when a comedic rhetor highlights inconsistencies and uncertainty. Relief Theory The psychologist Sigmund Freud established relief theory as a way to explain why humans respond with amusement to messages of aggression and disgust (Rybacki 323). Relief theorists claim that laughter is “a way of releasing the energy that builds up from forbidden thoughts and feelings” (Rybacki 323). At its core, humor is a release mechanism for people’s inner fear. When people respond to political humor, they laugh because they fear the power and authority that the government commands (Rybacki 324). In addition to fear, relief humor also uncovers hidden physiological tensions from within the individual. Humor is mainly used to reveal “suppressed desires and to overcome sociocultural inhibitions” (Buijzen 147). Sexual and aggressive themes are often expressed through relief humor. These inappropriate themes are generally the punch line of “socially inappropriate” jokes or comedy that goes beyond the boundaries of good taste. When the audience


30 responds to this type of joke, they realize its socially inappropriate nature and reaffirm the existence of good taste (Rybacki 324). Modern Contemporary Theory While each theoretical belief has served as the focal point of humor study at one time, “current humor researches often consider the three theories as complementary” (Buijzen 147). Humor is no longer strictly limited to the boundaries of a particular theory. Instead, each theory is often used as an element in the overall analysis of a joke. By combining all three theories, one is able to gain a more in depth understanding of how a particular joke persuades an audience to laugh. In the article, “Humorous Communication: Finding a Place for Humor in Communication Research”, Owen Lynch uses a classic Woody Allen joke to underscore the collaboration of theories in current humor study. The humor of the following Woody Allen joke can be explained by the superiority, incongruity and relief theories of humor. “I wouldn’t want to join any club that would have me as a member” Woody Allen Superiority Theory Allen’s self-deprecating joke evokes an emotional response from the audience and allows them to laugh at his inferiority. In superiority humor, “a person can be found comical, and therefore inferior, if he or she is inadequate according to a set of agreed-upon group or societal criteria” (Lynch 426). Society has decided upon an established set of conditions for club membership, and, clearly, Allen does not meet these distinctions. By determining himself as a person not worthy of membership, Allen presents himself as a


Typically. The above analysis demonstrates that the humor of a single joke can be interpreted by the three theories of humor. Allen’s joke creates an imbalance of power and therefore expresses the theory of superiority humor. In doing so. that person would be an ideal fit with the club and happily accept the membership. Throughout history. Allen’s joke provides the function of relief and therefore correlates to the theory of relief humor. the audience recognizes “that something is inconsistent with the expected rational nature of the perceived environment” (Lynch 428). many clubs have not allowed Jewish members to join their institutions. Allen’s joke alerts the audience to their previous convictions regarding club membership and then inverts these beliefs in order to highlight ambiguity within their environment. Relief Theory Allen’s joke takes a different tone when the audience has prior knowledge of his Jewish heritage. His humor is a tool to reduce tension and is therefore a method of release. Incongruity Theory Allen’s paradoxical joke stimulates the cognitive process and plays on the accepted beliefs of club membership prevalent in our society. His rejection of club membership may be an attempt “to purge himself of the tensions of being a minority” (Lynch 427).31 member of the out-group and the audience as a member of the superior group. he is someone who is inferior and someone who should be laughed at. Club membership is generally thought of in a positive manner. Therefore. Each theory provides a different insight into why the joke is 31 . if a club were to ask one to join. Allen flips this assumption and asserts the opposite. This inconsistency conveys the theory of incongruity humor.

32 funny. incongruity and relief in a collaborative manner. An example of clownish humor is when a character uses impractical gestures. Thirteen Comic Devices Based on the three main theories of humor as rhetorical argument. An example of logical implausibility is when an animal behaves outside of its given characteristics. The thirteen comic devices are: clownish/silly. Clownish humor is common and serves as the foundation for much comedy. Little cognitive ability is necessary to understand and appreciate this comedy. satire. one is able to interpret the joke from multiple angles and gain a greater analysis of the joke’s humor. self-deprecation. socially inappropriate humor. such as a bee that is as large as a man. slapstick. By utilizing the theories of superiority. surprise. irony. this study develops thirteen comic devices that comedic rhetors use to create humor. misunderstanding. This humor obeys the rules of good taste and is not offensive (Buijzen 150). Logical implausibility Logical implausibility involves the occurrence of an event that is not feasibly possible. and wordplay. behaves in a wacky manner and portrays an overall zany attitude. logical implausibility. or a 32 . gross humor. Clownish Clownish humor is the simplest form of comedy. The humor in every joke and sketch can be explained by at least one and more often multiple examples of these thirteen methods of humor. a shark that walks on land. It is comedy that is ridiculous and nonsensical. parody. invective.

and hitting others. In either verbal or visual surprise. tripping. Surprise in visual form relies on the imaginative manipulation of traditional images. Examples of slapstick include falling down. Surprise Surprise occurs when the outcome of an event or process is not what the audience expects. Little rational processing is necessary to enjoy slapstick humor. slapping. Surprise is a common favorite among children. Surprise in verbal form is often associated with wordplay and depends on the creative use of speech to twist the outcome of an event. The audience of this humor must have a high enough cognitive capacity to recognize the absurdity of the situation and to find humor in its improbability. and it continues to be utilized as a humor tool throughout adulthood (Buijzen 157). It is a favorable humor type among children and remains extremely popular throughout the duration of one’s life (Buijzen 151).33 bird that eat sandwiches. Surprise may occur in two forms: verbal and visual. Examples of surprise include a character responding to a question with an unexpected answer or a character jumping from behind a wall and appearing out of nowhere. An example of misunderstanding is when two characters are having a conversation and each person believes the conversation is 33 . Slapstick Slapstick is comedy that is purely physical in nature. the audience is moved to laugh due to an unexpected occurrence. Misunderstanding Misunderstanding occurs when a character misinterprets either the words or intentions of another character or organization. The audience laughs at the simple physical acts of slapstick comedy.

The contradictions in these double meanings underscore the absurdity of the given situation (Rybacki 317).34 actually about something else. This criticism provides social commentary and questions current cultural traditions (Rybacki 320). The audience is aware of this misunderstanding and finds humor in the fact that they have knowledge of the truth while the two characters do not. and customs of a culture to comic scrutiny” (Rybacki 319). In order for a joke that relies on the comic device of irony to be successful. The comedic rhetor uses irony to present multiple. An example of irony is if a lawmaker was arrested for breaking a law. opposing meanings in language or action. satire highlights the particular customs and traditions of a society. practices. sexual discrimination and non-specific examples of pop culture. No original work is directly mimicked. Irony creates humor by highlighting contradiction. In doing so. satire emphasizes the beliefs held by that culture and presents them for criticism. Examples of satire include humor that highlights race relations. Satire Satire finds “humor in the human condition and holds up the vices. 34 . Irony Irony is a “factual or embellished statement in which the opposite of what is stated is really meant” (Rybacki 314). Satire creates humor by constructing social commentary. the audience must not only be familiar with both of the opposing meanings that are presented. but also have the cognitive ability to interpret the paradox (Rybacki 317). The use of irony requires a great deal of prior knowledge from the audience. but rather.

Parody distorts an original. often non-humorous work and makes it humorous. When an audience disapproves of the comedian’s topic. accidents and sex. disasters. imitations of television shows and movies. It exaggerates or distorts “the original work while preserving its essential or identifiable elements” (Rybacki 317). Examples of parody include impersonations of celebrities and politicians. It is the original work deconstructed and reconstructed with a humorous twist (Rybacki 317). Laughter results as an escape from their feelings of discomfort and uneasiness. racism. Socially inappropriate humor makes the audience uncomfortable and self-conscience. 35 . they will reject the socially inappropriate joke and claim that the rhetor has ‘gone too far’ (Rybacki 325). and new interpretations of popular songs. Socially inappropriate jokes emphasize controversial topics that make the audience self-conscience and elicit laughter as an uncomfortable release. Examples of socially inappropriate humor are death.35 Parody Parody mimics. and jokes that are simply tasteless and inappropriate. disabilities. The viewer must know the original work well enough to recall its details and then apply these specifics to identifiable characteristics in the parody. impersonates or imitates a specific person. Socially Inappropriate Humor Socially inappropriate Humor refers to inappropriate topics that are outside the boundaries of accepted good taste. Parody is entirely dependent on the audience’s prior knowledge of the person or thing being parodied. event or thing. Socially inappropriate humor constantly straddles the line between inappropriate humor that the audience still finds humorous.

Invective Invective is “abuse. they must be able to intimately relate to the audience and to have the audience like them. Selfdeprecation is common among stand up comedians and during monologues. The viewers’ sense of superiority results in laughter and ultimately success for the comedian (Greenbaum 41). comedic invective “challenges the character of a person without real hostility of intent to destroy them” (Rybacki 314). and acknowledging one’s mistakes. A classic example of this category is bathroom humor. Other examples of gross humor include poor hygiene. the audience must accept the invective as a good-natured comedic insult. 36 . ridicule. Examples of self-deprecation include highlighting the flaws on one’s body. By using self-deprecation. Gross humor creates humor by coupling human’s innate curiosity with topics of disgust.36 Gross Humor Gross humor utilizes disgusting and revolting topics as the foundation for its humor. People are simultaneously repulsed and intrigued by gross humor. speaking of past failures. When comedians perform this type of comedy. This dualism makes the audience uncomfortable and as a result. or insult in humorous guise” (Rybacki 314). they utilize laughter as a release. Specifically. dysfunctional human bodies and eating unappetizing foods. Self-Deprecation Self-deprecation occurs when rhetors use humor to downgrade themselves and make themselves inferior to the audience. If the audience views the ridicule as too mean. comedians are able to make themselves inferior to the audience while simultaneously making the audience feel superior. Most importantly.

All jokes require some level of previous familiarity. Prior Knowledge Variations In addition to comparing the use frequency of each comedic device. If the recipients have no prior knowledge of the joke’s subject material. and spoonerisms. the misuse of terms. Wordplay uses the manipulation of language to generate humor. the amount of assumed prior knowledge utilized in each season is also analyzed. puns. meaning shifts and word twists. yet the cognitive process required for wordplay varies greatly across these age groups. Invective creates humor by making fun of others. are also common illustrations of wordplay (Rybacki 314). they present a phrase to the audience for interpretation. When rhetors make a joke. double entendres. Malapropisms. they will not be able to participate in the humor 37 . Wordplay Wordplay is a “game of language played between rhetor and audience” (Rybacki 314). Children are amused by simple word twists and straightforward riddles. Examples of wordplay include riddles.37 invective will not be accepted as humor (Rybacki 314). the transposition of phonemes. while adults are entertained by double entendres. This expression becomes rhetorical when the recipients of the joke share a mutual understanding of the humor’s content with the rhetor and are able to find rhetorical argument in the comedy (Rybacki 312). puns and more complicated riddles (Buijzen 152). This humor category is often used in political humor as well as with jokes that poke fun at celebrities. Wordplay is a popular form of comedy from childhood through adulthood.

Knowledge of general society is most often associated with social commentary and typically makes a statement about various cultural issues. yet no direct knowledge of exact concepts is obligatory. all necessary information is simply gained through life experience. not all humor requires the same types of previous information. places. knowledge of specific information requires precise information in regards to particular people. Comedic rhetors that utilize knowledge of specific information present the 38 . events or things. immigration. but rather. The audience must have a broad knowledge of cultural issues and an open mind. Knowledge of Specific Information In contrast. homosexuality. Knowledge of General Society Knowledge of general society involves broad cultural issues and trends. It is assumed that the audience has vast knowledge of a specific subject and will be able to relate this previous information to a given joke. No specific details are necessary. gender discrimination. there are two categories of prior knowledge that each entail different types of previous information: knowledge of general society and knowledge of specific information. In general. drug use and assumed stereotypes. Previous information is necessary and vital to an audience’s understanding and acceptance of the rhetor’s humor. The audience has knowledge of these broad societal issues by having simply lived and observed life.38 process and they will find no comedy in the joke (Rybacki 325). Prior knowledge is one of the most significant factors in a joke’s ultimate success or failure. Yet. Examples of social commentary include race relations.

39 audience with a fraction of the information and assume the audience is able to infer the rest. Both topical humor and its subcategory political humor require the audience to possess an intensive amount of prior knowledge in order to fully comprehend and appreciate the comedy. Both categories require the audience to have a high level of background information in order to find the joke entertaining. Humor can be broken into thirteen comedic devices and two categories of required prior knowledge. Political humor is a specific subcategory of topical humor that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Political humor uses the government and prominent political figures as the bases for its jokes. Knowledge of specific information is most directly affected by topical humor and political humor. 39 . If the audience is not aware of the joke’s particular details. For an audience to understand political humor. The comedian “supplies part of the material. In topical humor. and the audience fills in the rest based on their knowledge” (Rybacki 312). the comedic rhetor relies on current cultural events as the bases of his jokes. they must have prior knowledge of politics and current political events (Rybacki 313). the humor will fail. Both methodologies are applied to Saturday Night Live and are used as to create a comparative analysis of SNL season one to season thirty-five. The audience must supply some of their own knowledge to complete the joke and find meaning in the humor.

By examining the type of humor used in the first season of SNL compared to the most recent season. these episodes include: Episode 1.16. 1975. original airdate December 13. SNL has been a comedic institution for the last thirty-five years. Similarly. Season one supplies data from 1975-1976 and provides the widest scope of study. original airdate March 13. For season one. SNL has produced popular comedy that appeals to the masses of each generation. 1975. Within each season.7. hosted by Candice Bergen. Representative Episodes Saturday Night Live was chosen as the rhetorical artifact of study because of its huge impact on our society’s comedic landscape.40 CHAPTER 5 ANALYSIS The following section analyzes Saturday Night Live’s use of the thirteen comic devices previously outlined. hosted by Richard Pryor and Episode 1. Season one of SNL was chosen as a season of study due to the fact that it is the earliest record of SNL humor. Clearly. 1976. hosted by Anthony 40 . Episode 1. The application of this comedic method to each season aids in the examination of humor discrepancies across time and helps to highlight what each generation uses as their tools of humor. original airdate November 8. Each device’s frequency of use in season one is compared to that same device’s frequency of use in season thirty-five. three episodes were chosen as representative samples of that season. season thirty-five was chosen as a season of study because it provides the most recent examples of humor from the 2009-2010 season. one is able to illustrate a broad selection of humor and its changes over time. as well as its evident staying power.4.

many sketches are written for the guest host and his or her characters. as well as a balanced variety of guest hosts from each season. Since the celebrity hosting dominates the humor of each episode. This broad sampling of hosts provides comprehensive coverage for the humor of the whole season. hosted by Drew Barrymore. 2010. In these six representative episodes. one female actress. This excludes many of the films submitted by outside sources from the first season. These episodes were chosen primarily based on the guest host. Episode 35. Although the jokes were left out. it is important to choose representative episodes that reflect the guest host’s importance and character types. In doing so. The guest host for each episode appears in the majority of the sketches. original airdate March 6. In addition. and Episode 35. Sketches that did not include members of the SNL cast were excluded from analysis because this study focuses exclusively on SNL and the cast members of that season.3 original airdate October 10. one male actor.16. Only skits with members of the cast were included in the study. Also left out of the first season are in studio advertisements and any jokes that appeared as text on the screen before or after commercial breaks. To create this equilibrium. 2010. original airdate January 30. To provide a non-biased assessment of each season. and one comedian serve as the three representative hosts for each season. These jokes were excluded because they did not fit the format of the rest of the sketches. hosted by Zach Galifinakis. and style is balanced between the dramatic actor and the comedian. 2009. certain sketches were excluded from analysis.13. hosted by John Hamm. it is important to insure that each sketch can be analyzed in the same manner. all Weekend Update jokes were prohibited from the analysis. sketches that 41 . The representative episodes of thirty-five include: Episode 35.41 Perkins. gender is balanced between the male and female hosts. and often.

invective. Only examining sketches that feature SNL cast members and omitting jokes that do not follow SNL’s sketch format creates a consistent method for analyzing each season. wordplay. self-deprecation and slapstick. The number in the box vertically beneath the name and horizontally across from the comic device corresponds to the number of sketches that used that form of humor. For example. satire. surprise was used in 6 of the potential 13 sketches. 42 . Chart 1 illustrates the utilization of each comedic device across the six representative episodes. parody. irony. misunderstanding. gross. surprise. These specific sketches are analyzed based on the use frequency of the thirteen comic devices: clownish. socially inappropriate. in the episode hosted by Drew Barrymore. logical implausibility.42 appeared within the Weekend Update segment and used cast members were included in the analysis. Beneath each host’s name is the count of sketches that were analyzed in that particular episode.

The use of each comic device was then compiled for each season and divided by the total number of sketches in that season.43 CHART 1 PRYOR Sketch Count: (16) Clownish/ Silly Satire Surprise 1 9 6 BERGEN Sketch Count: (15) 5 4 4 4 6 4 2 PERKINS BARRYMORE HAMM GALIFINAKIS Sketch Sketch Count: Sketch Sketch Count: Count: (13) Count: (10) (15) (13) 4 4 4 3 2 8 1 3 5 6 2 3 8 2 2 5 9 2 4 6 1 2 2 7 1 0 7 1 Logical 1 implausibility Irony 3 Wordplay Socially inappropriate Humor Misunder. 46 sketches were suitable for study in season one. Parody Invective Gross SelfDeprecation Slapstick 4 9 2 1 0 0 0 7 0 3 0 0 1 6 2 5 3 1 2 4 2 10 6 0 3 3 1 7 4 2 1 4 0 4 3 1 2 1 Chart 2 demonstrates the use frequency of each comic device in season one and season thirty-five. For 43 . and 36 sketches were appropriate for analysis in season thirty-five.

CHART 2 SEASON 1 Sketch Count: (46) Count: 17 Frequency: 37% Count: 10 Frequency: 22% Count: 17 Frequency: 37% Count: 8 Frequency: 17% Count: 4 Frequency: 09% Count: 3 Frequency: 07% Count: 11 Frequency: 24% Count: 9 Frequency: 20% Count: 12 Frequency: 26% Count: 1 Frequency: 2% Count: 3 Frequency: 7% Count: 16 Frequency: 35% Count: 14 Frequency: 30% SEASON 35 Sketch Count: (36) Count: 8 Frequency: 22% Count: 7 Frequency: 19% Count: 12 Frequency: 33% Count: 5 Frequency: 14% Count: 3 Frequency: 08% Count: 4 Frequency: 11% Count: 7 Frequency: 19% Count: 21 Frequency: 58% Count: 4 Frequency: 11% Count: 3 Frequency: 08% Count: 13 Frequency: 36% Count: 21 Frequency: 58% Count: 22 Frequency: 61% Slapstick Clownish/ Silly Satire Logical Implausibility Misunderstanding Self Deprecation Irony Parody Socially inappropriate Gross Invective Wordplay Surprise Chart 1 and chart 2 depict the frequency of each comic device in both seasons and clearly illustrate the similarities and discrepancies in the humor of the two seasons.37 times in every sketch. This figure translates into slapstick occurring .44 example. or in roughly 37% of the sketches in season one. The following sections analyze each comic device in detail and provide an example of that 44 . Slapstick occurred in 17 of the 46 sketches in season one.

In season thirty-five. Barrymore and Samberg begin to cook chicken parmesan and take out the secret ingredient. At the climax of his fall. Food is thrown 45 . eat the bread. slapstick appears during the sketch. Chase breaks character. These humor types develop in early childhood and are common in general humor (Buijzen 150). Moynihan is their cooking sidekick and parodies real life celebrity chef. “cooking alfresco” in episode 35. In doing so.7. Slapstick Season one uses 15% more slapstick humor than season thirty-five. The first season of SNL utilizes more slapstick but less surprise than season thirty-five. Both seasons uses similar amounts of clownish humor. it’s Saturday night!” In the introduction of each episode. Refer to the appendix for a detailed description of each sketch. trips and crashes into their table causing a huge commotion. Immediately. Chase always falls or crashes. and cause general disorder. slapstick is frequently utilized as a comedic device and serves as the foundation for every episode’s opening sketch in season one. Barrymore and Samberg act as Fran Jones and Phil O’Brien as they satirize a stereotypical cooking show that happens to take place outdoors.3. slapstick and clownish. Akroyd and Curtain are out to dinner when their waiter. Guy Fiori. An example of slapstick in season one occurs during the opening sketch of episode 1.45 specific humor from each season. The Use of Simple Humor Forms The simplest forms of humor are surprise. looks into the camera and yells: “Live from New York. Slapstick is found in 37% of season one’s sketches and 22% of season thirty-five’s skits. a flock of birds swarm the hosts. Chase. bread crumbs.

and the actors are hit in the face. birds fly into people. it is revealed that the sketch is not a medical advertisement. In season thirty-five. “ and this is your shopping center.16. The head continues to rotate and the viewers are expecting for the commercial to continue in this medical fashion. to the surprise of the audience. Oz during a fat demonstration.46 around the stage.” in episode 35. Surprise is present during the skit. “this is your nasal center. “Zach drops by the set. Surprise Surprise humor is used twice as much in season thirty-five as it is in season one. this is your sinus center” and the audience assumes that the sketch is an advertisement for a pharmaceutical drug. Surprise is found in 30% of season one’s sketches and 61% of season thirty-five’s skits. this is the Lincoln center.” in episode 1.” In this shocking manner. but in fact. the viewers see Zach on set with Dr. a message for land scarcity of the human brain. He appears in the window behind Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News. Zach is then caught on camera in the audience at ‘Showtime at the Apollo. Next. This pun is unexpected by the audience and functions as a surprise.” Next. and interrupts: “Are you guys doing a TV show or something?” Cut to Zach in a home video with unknown people. He then appears in the middle of a scene on an episode of 30 Rock. the voice over reveals. The man’s head is marked in red circles and a voice over is heard as the image rotates around the screen. “land scarcity. Zack Galifinakis is seen in the background of many famous NBC television shows where the audience would not typically expect to see him.16. An example of surprise in season one occurs during the Weekend Update sketch. Then. The message begins. The commercial begins on a close up of a bald man’s head. Zach is seen carrying his groceries in the background of an 46 . General physical humor is used to create disorder and chaos.

meeting your biological father.4.” He then swats the bee and attempts to “shoo” him away. engagements. Galifinakis’ multiple unanticipated appearances surprise the audience. medical emergencies. family meals. Belushi as a Bee stands next to Bergen and places his head on her shoulder. eviction. He disrupts the episode by taking a picture of the actors on his cell phone. eye exams. A man dressed as a large.47 episode of Law & Order. including: birthday parties. 47 . the bee says. and play with glowing thumb shaped orbs. They are dressed in identical white wardrobes with matching haircuts and magenta silk ties knotted around their necks. 1980s synthesized pop music plays as they dance. talking bumble bee is purely silly humor. Clownish is found in 22% of season one’s sketches and 19% of season thirty-five’s skits. While she is speaking. Chase appears and declares: “You have a bee on your shoulder. “shoo” back. In season thirty-five. making new friends and road trips. during “an SNL digital short” in episode 35. Barrymore and Armisen act as Brenda and Shaun. Brenda and Shaun specialize in entertainment for any occasion. The entertainers’ costumes and general behavior are ridiculous and simply asinine. professional entertainers. An example of clownish in season one occurs when John Belushi appears dressed as a bee during Candice Bergen’s opening monologue of episode 1. Clownish Clownish humor is used in roughly the same frequency in season thirty-five as it is in season one. graduations. Lastly. mime.3. In response. resulting in clownish humor. a young Zach Galifinakis is seen in the audience of an episode of SNL from 1983.

phone books. the victim asks for the police officer to “open the fridge” in order to get a better look. In addition. loose peanut butter. The housewife. Richard Pryor and a refrigerator. At first. An example of logical implausibility in season one occurs during the “police line up 2” sketch in episode 1. additional water. dirt and cheese. Clearly. pie.7. misunderstanding. As the commercial progresses. The three possible culprits are a nun. animal feathers. such as shoes. sweaters and belts. The scene portrays a criminal line up in a police station. The ZipCo closet organizer is a man dressed in a spandex. there is a commercial for “the closet organizer” in episode 35.13. trophies. Logical Implausibility Logical Implausibility is found in 17% of the sketches in season one and 14% of the sketches in season thirty-five. begins to throw things in her closet and the closet organizer catches them and puts them away. gross and self-deprecation are mid-range comedic devices that are neither base nor highly sophisticated forms of comedy. marbles. To draw further attention to the rational impracticability of a refrigerator being guilty. neither the nun nor an inanimate object is the culprit. an inanimate object can clearly not be the criminal. the articles become more absurd and include: water. In season thirty-five. blue suit who lives in one’s closet.48 Mid-Range Humor Types with Little Variation Logical implausibility. important papers. the items are normal closet items. Most of this humor shows little to no variation between season one and season thirty-five. Most people would assume a nun would not commit a crime. Wigg. Played by Forte. The advertisement 48 . this situation is logically impossible. and therefore her presence in a police line up is logically implausible. and therefore.

and continues to ask Curtin how to clean appropriately.” and will help with “S&M. Radner remains oblivious.” it is clear to the audience that instead of a cleaning service.” The skit portrays a women’s billiards competition in which Barrymore and Wigg act as the billiard professionals “Nina Wilkes Booth” and “Gretta Milwaukee. verbally assaults. Throughout the script. Radner believes the maid will teach her how to clean well. She responds to an advertisement in the Village Voice that claims to offer maids who are “clean freaks.” The tournament is announced by Greg Stink.” Rader believes these statements mean the maid is adamant about cleaning. Curtin responds as a dominatrix and yells at. a stern teacher. Misunderstanding Misunderstanding is found in 9% of the sketches in season one and 8% of the sketches in season thirty-five. as well as the claim that this system is available at the Vatican gift shop. Forte. and great at “scrubbing and mopping. misunderstanding occurs in episode 35. and physically harms Radner.16. “Tampax to the max tournament of champions. Sudekis. are both logically implausible. An example of misunderstanding in season one occurs during the sketch “dominatrix maid” in episode 1. but the characters in the sketch remain clueless. while the maid thinks Radner wants to become a dominatrix.” “very strict. In season thirty-five.” The prospect of a closet organization system that is actually just a man living in your closet. Radner is a housewife who wants to learn how to clean more efficiently. During the skit.” When Curtin arrives at Radner’s house as the “maid. Radner has hired a dominatrix. Stink and Twinkle focus on the Tampax 49 . and Pete Twinkle.49 concludes by stating: “available at Bergdorf Goodman and the gift shop at the Vatican. The audience is aware of the misunderstanding.3 during the sketch.

Seeing a man put his face in underwear is vulgar. Perkins begins to yell.” The audience recognizes that these two men are announcers and infers that Twinkle’s question refers to the players of the tournament. Stink misunderstands the question and responds: “They are probably thinking how happy they are to be sponsoring this event. He grabs the underwear. Near the end. 50 . episode 1. This confusion results in misunderstanding. gross humor occurs during Perkin’s opening monologue. he references his lucky pair of women’s panties. and then asks Stink: “What are they thinking right now.16. shoves it in his face and smells the panties. and accuse the audience. When he discovers that he cannot find the underwear. a pair of panties is thrown on stage and Perkins catches them. Twinkle announces that Tampax is sponsoring the event. yet Stink constantly misinterprets the subject matter. Finally.” Stink’s misunderstanding continues when Twinkle asks Stink to comment on Booth’s strategy. yet Stink continuously misinterprets the question and responds with a fact about Tampax.50 sponsorship and not the billiards tournament. Get the product name out there and corner that tampon market!” The audience comprehends Twinkle’s questions. During his monologue. During their discussion. unsettling gross humor. Gross Season one and season thirty-five both utilize very little gross humor. Twinkle will ask Stick about the competition. Gross humor only occurs in 2% of the sketches in season one and 8% of the skits in season thirty-five. In season one. scream. Perkins attempts to convince the audience he is not as bizarre as the characters he portrays. Stink thinks Twinkle is referring to Tampax’s strategy and responds: “Just sponsoring an event.

By referencing both of these 51 . Their incessant questioning of the bidet includes: “There’s no additional chare for using the. “should it break. “is there an adjustment that can be made to possibly increase the pressure substantially?”. “There’s a sturdiness to the bidet? It can accommodate a fairly heavy carriage?”.51 In season thirty-five. He attempts to convince the audience he is nothing like the strange characters he portrays in films.16. undermines his claim to sanity. Samberg. is there a bidet repairman on site?”. Galifinakis and Wigg are looking at a hotel room and constantly reference the bidet in the bathroom. While common to both seasons. The Fly. Galifinakis admits: “it involves the bidet. from the film Psycho.. They ask multiple questions about use of the bidet to the attendant. it only appears in one of the three representative episodes from season one. Yet he parodies these outrageous characters and therefore.16. Similarly. In season one.” This bathroom humor is a common example of gross humor. Self-Deprecation Self-Deprecation is used in 7% of the sketches in season one and 11% of the skits in season thirty-five. bidet? No per use fee?”. Perkins uses self-deprecation during his monologue in episode 1. he calls to his mother in reference to his infamous character. “he can handle even the most extreme bidet problems?”. and “do you offer a roll away bidet?” Perhaps the most extensive example of gross humor from “the bidet” sketch occurs when Wigg hands Samberg a tip and the dollar bill is soaking wet. Norman Bates. During a monologue. a fly is seen constantly buzzing around Perkins in reference to his film. it is important to note that while selfdeprecation is used in all three representative episodes from season thirty-five. During his monologue. gross humor occurs during “the bidet” skit in episode 35.

52 . In season thirty-five. played by Wigg. She even talks out of the side of her mouth just as Barrymore speaks. as Barrymore cuts to more footage from her family’s acting history. the tone of her voice. It is clear that Wigg has mimicked Barrymore.52 outrageous characters. Use of Sophisticated Comic Devices Satire. her voice and her favorite phrases such as “this rocks!” Barrymore uses self-deprecating humur by functioning as a parody of herself. These clips include: Hader as John Barrymore in Hamlet. and that Barrymore’s exaggerated monologue is in fact a parody of herself. Barrymore then speaks about her acting past. Wigg imitates Barrymore’s way of speaking. These various parodies mimic Barrymore’s facial expressions. While the use of satire and irony remains relatively stable. She begins to speak in exaggerated ‘Valley girl’ speak and accentuates her slight lisp. The imitations continue.3. Irony and Parody are more sophisticated types of humor that are typically developed later in life (Buijzen 150). Barrymore parodies herself in her monologue during episode 35. Elliot as Gertrude Barrymore and Samberg as Cecil Barrymore in a World War II epic. and Kenan as Darius Barrymore in a 1970s stereotypical black film. the use of parody varies greatly between seasons. and her mannerisms. She then cuts to a rare clip featuring Ethal Barrymore. Perkins highlights and pokes fun at the extreme characters he has portrayed. and references her many unknown family members who were once famous actors and actresses.

3.” Pryor is positioned next to Chase in a business suit. To make matter worse.” Characters continue to discredit online educational systems. the commercial for “The University of Westfield Online” features a fake advertisement for an Internet based college. These sketches satirize corruption in the police force and highlight racial injustice and racial profiling. In “police line up 2. People will draw their own 53 . Pryor is clearly set up by the police to be chosen out of the police line up. in “police line up 3. During three “police line up” skits. like Michigan.” Pryor lines up in the middle of four cops who are all pointing their fingers at him.7. Santa Cruz… They also taught me that you could just say the name of a place. Lastly.” Pryor stands in between a nun and a refrigerator. In each of these scenarios. Their claims include: “The University of Westfield Online taught me that going to an Internet college is not a thing that would make people want to hire me. Pryors is wearing handcuffs. Pryor is set up as the obvious culprit. episode 35.C. or U. Pedrad. Great. Satire was present in 37% of the sketches in season one and 33% of the skits in season thiry-five. Belushi as a Doctor and a boy scout. In season thirty-five. The victim will choose Pryor as the criminal because the police have set up the line up to frame him as such.” and “They taught me the names of other colleges that I could say that I went to. believable names -. In “police line up 1. The sketch begins as a serious advertisement for an online university until one woman.53 Satire There is slightly more satire use in season one than in season thirty-five. reveals: “The University of Westfield Online gave me the skills I need to get the job I want! Skills like: Not mentioning in a job interview that I went to an Internet Rutgers. An example of satire in season one occurs during the “police line up” sketches in episode 1.

During this conversation. It highlights our current society’s obsession with well known universities and questions our trust in and reliance on the internet. In season thirty-five. irony is present when Supreme Court Justice Soto Sotomayor is parodied during the Weekend Update segment in episode 35. Pryor’s statements are the opposite of what he believes. and live like a white man in a white's man world. this sketch uses irony to highlight racial injustice. get accepted 8 out of 10 times. get white skin. 54 . and her life as a female Latina. her childhood in Brooklyn.” He claims that the inspiration for his book originated from his belief that “the only way to understand a white man's problems was to actually become a white man. Irony Irony is used in 24% of the sketches in season one and 19% of the skits in season thirty-five. ” When asked what his experiences were like as a white man he responds: “it was spooky! I was walking around with the credit cards bulging out of my wallet. you know? And I'd apply for jobs.7. Meyers.” This sketch satirizes online educational practices and questions their authenticity and merit. These numbers highlight that there has been little change in the use of irony between seasons. During this skit. Sotomayor states: “the Supreme Court is a diverse group of people.” He then continues to impersonate a stereotypical white person by mimicking one’s walk and polite manners. Sotomayor speaks with Weekend Update host.” She then describes the members of the Supreme Court and reveal that its members are practically all white males. An example of irony in season one occurs during the “looks at books” sketch in episode 1. “White Like Me. By emphasizing these contradictory statements.54 conclusions. Played by Slate.13. about her position on the Supreme Court. Pryor appears on a talk show to discuss his new book.

Wigg and Vice President Joe Biden. In season thirty-five. Another example of Ford’s ineptness and general lack of charm occurs when Chase falls behind the podium. An example of parody in season one occurs during the opening skit of episode 1. Parody Parody is used more than twice as much in season thirty-five as it is in season one. Ford is depicted as dim-witted and unintelligent when Chase pours a glass of water but proceeds to drink from the empty glass sitting right next to it. He then stands back up and proclaims: “Uh-oh! No problem. no problem. After defaming Coakly. Armisen discusses the horrid state of the White House 55 . This discrepancy is the biggest difference between seasons in the use of a comedic device. the skit uses irony to highlight the lack of diversity on the Supreme Court. parody occurs during the opening sketch of episode 35. Armisen impersonates President Barack Obama during an imitation of “the state of the union address. Chase mimics Ford’s general awkwardness and oblivious naivety.” In this parody. Sudekis. No problem. and spills his papers onto the floor. Ford’s clumsiness is established immediately when Chase staggers onto stage. Chase looks around confused and drinks from the empty pitcher. In asserting this paradoxical statement.” During his address.13. Martha Coakly. bumps into the flag. Chase portrays Ford as an accident-prone klutz who stumbles through his speech. Armisen first address Nancy Pelosi. Okay. He then mentions the recent death of Senator Edward Kennedy and the resulting senate race in Massachusetts in which his candidate.4 when Chase mimics the then current President Gerald Ford. lost. When he realizes his glass is empty. Parody is found in 20% of season one’s sketches and 58% of season thirty-five’s skits.55 Sotomayor’s statement that there is diversity on the Supreme Court is clearly the opposite of the truth.

The use of slightly more satire in season one leads to more social commentary and ultimately. In addition. The presence of much more parody in season thirty-five leads to the impersonations of specific characters. more socially inappropriate humor that made the audience uncomfortable. He mimics Obama’s speaking habits.56 when he entered office. multiple parodies are evident. He says this “will create 30. Armisen claims that his cabinet is working tirelessly in response to the resent increase in unemployment throughout The United States. invective ridicule of particular people. throughout the sketch. Armisen reveals he is tired of talking about health care reform and is ambivalent to its success. unwashed sheets and spoiled food.” Next. Armisen announces his plan to end the ban on homosexuals in the military. and a construction worker in New Jersey. Next. After mentioning the economy and war.000 jobs in our Armed Forces . many current events were also mentioned and parodied. Next. and therefore. part time book keeper in Illinois. mannerisms and general presence. Most obvious is Armisen’s imitation of Obama. Lastly. real life shots of republicans and democrats in the actual State of the Union address were interspersed. The current unemployment situation was ridiculed. as well as BRAVO and the White House. During this skit. Other Major Differences in Humor Use The discrepancy between satire and parody use in each season led to variations in the use of socially inappropriate humor and invective as well. 56 . Wordplay also fluctuates in use between season one and season thirty-five. He offers three specific jobs that become available today: a member of Mike’s Burger World’s kitchen staff in Washington well as two new series on BRAVO. he refers to the White House’s messy kitchen.

During this sketch. She removes her coat to reveal a dress that is completely covered in sharp knives pointed out. Perkins then stands to give his wife a huge hug and inadvertently gets stabbed in the process and dies. Later in the studio. “Perkin’s new horror films” in episode 1. it is revealed that Greg has now turned Hamm into an alien.” In this trailer. Greg is sent to do a live field piece on location in a football stadium. It is used in 26% of the sketches in season one and 11% of the skits in season 35. Newman. low-budget horror films that he is starring in post Psycho. socially inappropriate humor occurs in episode 35.16. arrives home to her husband. Greg attacks Hamm and bites him. He rarely speaks.” During the show.” Randy. Greg continues to turn various people into aliens until there are nine aliens standing behind Greg’s desk. In response to caller’s concerns that Greg is an alien. played by Hader. and generally looks disturbed. As he is interviewing the teams head coach. In season thirty-five. An example of socially inappropriate humor in season one occurs during the skit.57 Socially Inappropriate Humor Socially inappropriate humor is used twice as frequently in season one as in season thirty-five. played by Thompson. Perkins. mostly grunts. As the show continues. 57 . Greg’s behavior is bizarre. Randy must state: “Greg is not an alien. host a sports talk show. “Randy and Greg sports talk show. One movie is titled: “Dressed to Kill. Greg’s brutal attack on the football coach is aggressive and socially inappropriate. The audience laughs at this hostility because they are uncomfortable with violence.13 during the skit. Hamm. Perkins previews the trailers for his three new. a woman. The audience finds humor in his death because it is socially inappropriate and it makes them uncomfortable. and Greg. and wants to show him her new dress.

this award was a complete surprise as I have only not been George W. invective is used to mock former President Bush during the opening sketch of episode 35. This depiction is invective.” the president tries to roll a joint and fails.16. and 58% of the skits in season thirty-five. In “president’s view on marijuana 1. Armisen indirectly states that Bush is the opposite of the Nobel Peace Prize. These skits portray the president ineptly attempting to smoke marijuana.” By claiming that he won the Nobel Prize for not being Bush. Wordplay Wordplay is present in 35% of the sketches in season one. It is used in 7% of the sketches in season one and 36% of the skits in season 35. In season thirty-five. stupid and brainless.3. He then comments on his own win and states: “I won it for not being George Bush.58 Invective Invective humor is seen at a five times greater rate in season thirty-five than in season one.” the president uses a rolling device and still fails. In “president’s view on marijuana 3. He refers to the awards past winners and what they had to accomplish in order to receive the prize. President Barack Obama speaks in response to his recent Nobel Peace prize. An example of wordplay in season one occurs during the Weekend 58 . But I am deeply honored nonetheless. An example of invective in season one occurs during the “president’s view on marijuana” sketches in episode 1. Bush for nine months.” the president attempts to smoke a joint and is once again unsuccessful. In “president’s view on marijuana 2. These sketches portray the president as inept. and it ridicules and derides the president. To be perfectly honest. The message of this statement is a direct invective insult to President Bush.

and nearly every viewer knows the correct title of the film. appears on Weekend Update with Chase to give her editorial comments.T.7. he continues to struggle with words and pronunciation.” Litella has accidentally changed the word “bussing” students to “busting students. played by Radner. This simple play on words and sound creates humor. the degrees to which these two types of previous information occur vary greatly 59 . yet. Knowledge of General Society Versus Specific Information As previously discussed. He asks a question about Barrymore’s first film and inquires: “So. Et?” Barrymore must correct him with the film’s correct pronunciation. In season thirty-five. She continues on her tirade until Chase interrupts to inform her that it is not “busting school children. is arguably Barrymore’s most famous and well-known films. there are two types of previous information required for the understanding of humor. when you were seven years old you starred in the classic movie. The reoccurring character Emily Litella. Hader begins the talk show in Italian until Barrymore interrupts and informs him that she only speaks English.” She claims “busting school children” is inhumane. An Italian talk show host named Vinny Vedecci. E.59 Update segment in episode 1. played by Barrymore. As the interview continues. irresponsible and ineffective. Season one and season thirty-five both contain sketches that require prior knowledge of general society and prior knowledge of specific information. “La Rivista Della Televisione con Vinny Vedecci” during episode 35.. The audience finds humor in the mix up between the two-letter articulation of her film’s name and Hader’s monosyllabic sound. et.3.T.” This simple word switch is an example of common word play. wordplay is evident in the skit. played by Hader interviews the actress Drew Barrymore. She begins to rant about the injustice of “busting school children. E.” it is “bussing school children.

60 between the seasons. Season one predominantly features the need for knowledge of general society. Social commentary and relevant cultural issues also mark season one. In contrast, season thirty-five is dominated by the need for knowledge of specific information. Highly detailed parodies of people, things and events are common in season thirty-five. The types of previous information needed vary greatly between season one and season thirty-five. Season One The majority of season one’s sketches require knowledge of general society. Broad, life experience, not specific details, is necessary to find humor in the jokes. However, jokes that require specific knowledge are still present in season one. While in the minority, some sketches from season one depend on knowledge of specific information. The sketch, “commercial for the Norman Bates School of Hotel Management,” from episode 1.16, is one example of a skit that necessitates precise former knowledge. In the skit, Perkins plays the role of Norman Bates from his film, Psycho. The advertisement portrays Bates as the founder of a hotel school of management and continuously references the character of Bates as well as the film Psycho. He proclaims: “Best of all, you learn at home, right in the privacy of your own shower.” He tells the viewer they will learn the tricks of the trade like how to change the linen, how to determine room rates, and how to improve customer relations by giving them a complimentary newspaper in the morning. He then holds up the newspaper to reveal the headline: “Los Angeles Times: Slasher Strikes Again!" He continues by giving the audience a quiz to see if they are hotel management material. Each question is multiple choice and contains one answer that refers to Norman Bates and Psycho. Question 1 asks: “A guest loses the key to her room. Would you…” and Question 2 asks: “Which of the following is the most


61 important in running a successful motel?” The answer for both questions is, “C) Hack her to death with a kitchen knife.” When Perkins begins to ask the audience his third question, he is interrupted by his “mother”, who calls to him. Perkins places the newspaper over his face and yells in a female voice to imitate his mother calling to him. In closing, he informs the audience: “There's no obligation whatsoever… and-and-and no salesman will call.. so-so yy-y-y-you don't have to b-b-bo-bother to lock your door, you know-you can-you can leave it off the latch.” His “mother” calls to interrupt once again, and Bates responds: “coming mother!” The sketch, ‘commercial for the Norman Bates School of Hotel Management,” is a parody of Perkin’s character Norman Bates and the film Psycho. Without specific prior knowledge of both the man and the movie, the audience would not understand and appreciate the skit’s humor. Bates mentions learning from the “privacy of your own shower.” Recipients of this joke must identify the shower illusion as a direct reference to the scene in Psycho where Bates murders a women in the shower. When Bates holds up a newspaper that reveals the ominous ‘slasher’ headline, viewers must know that is is actually the character Norman Bates who is the murderer. When Norman Bates calls to his “mother” off screen and then covers his face so he can respond as his mother, he direct references the fact that in Psycho, Norman Bates has killed his mother but lives with and speaks to her dead body. Insinuations of murder are featured during the question and answer portion of the interview, further alluding to the fact that Bates is a murderer. Lastly, Bates’ closing line, “coming mother,” is a direct quote from perhaps the most infamous line in the film, Psycho. If the viewers are unaware of these details from the movie, they will be unable to comprehend the jokes and find no humor in their meanings. For this sketch to be


62 humorous, the audience must have a high degree of prior knowledge of specific information. Knowledge of General Society The majority of season one’s sketches demand knowledge of general society for understanding. Three examples of this broad knowledge include: the ‘police line up’ sketches from episode 1.7, Bergen’s conversation about ‘insecurities’ from episode 1.4, and the skit ‘black perspective’ from episode 1.4. There are three “police line up” sketches in season one, episode 1.7. Each skit is roughly 30 seconds long and all feature Pryor as a member of the criminal line up. In “police line up 1,” Pryor is positioned in the line up next to Chase in a business suit, Belushi dressed as a doctor, and a boyscout. To make the situation more extreme, Pryor is also seen wearing handcuffs. The police officer then asks the victim to identify the criminal, and she states: “He’s the one in the handcuffs.” In “police lineup 2,” The line up consists of Pryor, a nun and a refrigerator. The victim responds, “could you open the icebox?” In “police lineup 3,” Pryor stands in the lineup with three policemen who are all pointing at him. He is wearing a bandage and appears to have been recently beaten up. Clearly, all three police lineups have been rigged. The “police lineup” sketches are ripe with social commentary. Issues of racial profiling, race relations, prejudices and police brutality are highlighted. These societal concerns are broad and involve non-specific details. In order to find humor in this satire, one must have an open mind, a basic life experience, and be somewhat well informed. A person who is living in the racial turmoil of the times, who is open to new experiences and who knows general information about the world would have sufficient previous information


ya know? Like I wish you had something in your teeth. or something hanging out of your nose.” Radner then begins to dicuss how difficult and confusing it is to act feminine. I feel less feminine. their lack of confidence. skinny types. The real tiny ones with the body shirts and the silky hair.” She then makes the bold acknowledgment: “when I am with you. Radner asks Berrgen about the ERA vote that failed to pass. the ones you could break in half. She shares an anecdote from her dating life in which her friends convince her that in order to be feminine on a date. The discussion continues and the women talk about the recent trend of severely skinny women. To comprehend and find humor in these sketches one must have a prior knowledge of general society. Radner begins the conversation by stating: “I want to talk to you about you being so pretty.” Then she further confesses that “another part of me just wants to look at your face and find something wrong with it. This advice leads to an awkward encounter between Radner.” She admits that “every time I am with a pretty girl like that. you know.4. Bergen responds by asserting that women need to stop forcing feminine ideals upon themselves and to instead accept “themselves for who they are.63 to think the “police lineup” sketches are comical. and their bodies.” The sketch concludes with a discussion of the recent ERA vote.” Bergen responds to Radner’s truthful statement by saying that everyone has moments of insecurity. Bergen sits on stage with Radner and has a conversation in which they discuss their multiple “insecurities. her date. During episode 1. she must never open up for the door for herself. Bergen divulges that she “feels awkward around the new little. part of me just wants to wait on you.” The women talk extensively about being self-conscience. Polish your earrings or something. and Bergen uses this 63 . and a half closed car door.

the viewers must have life experience in gender relations. Bergen offers the audience an alternative to society’s rigorous gender definitions. Otherwise.” that both 64 . Black Perspective. His guest on the show is a distinguished author who has written multiple biting novels such as. In the sketch. “Sharecropper ’75” and “Charcoal City. Bergen’s responses to Radner’s confessions provide the audience with counter arguments to female prejudices.4. but Bergens’s detailed explanation provides an uninformed viewer with the necessary background knowledge to understand the conversation. The “insecurities” sketch portrays two women faced with the feminine stereotypes and ideals of their culture. Morris is a talk how host for the talk show. In order to find this skit humorous. Her brutal honesty provides the viewers with social commentary on contemporary feminist thought and gender discrimination. “Black perspective. self-doubt. By telling women to just be themselves and to not conform to a cultural definition of beauty. Femininity is a distinct issue with Radner. Their discussion of the ERA provides a specific example of gender issues in current politics and informs the viewers about the future of feminism. and she chronicles her quest to discover what it means to be a woman in today’s society. The reference requires some detailed prior knowledge of the ERA vote. have felt insecure.” from episode 1. She speaks of feelings of insecurity. the rest of the women’s conversation was based solely on the audience’s prior knowledge of general society and no specific knowledge is necessary. Radner is the voice of all women. and be open minded to feminism and changing gender stereotypes. and lack of confidence. She details her personal body issues and how she feels intimidated by the recent trend towards skinny women.64 opportunity to expand upon what the ERZ vote means and how it could have affected women.

’ ‘Negro’. Garrett.” In a surprise and ironic twist..” Morris’ interview with the Curtin provides intense social commentary on race relations.. In conclusion.” Curtin jokingly responds: “I prefer simply. She has no knowledge of what it is like to be black. The picture reveals Curtin as a black woman. Perhaps most extreme example of racial commentary is Curtin’s reference to the derogatory term “jungle bunny. “Shadows.” He then asks: “Where were you raised as a little girl?” Curtin responds: “I was raised in New York. a white woman. ‘black’ is fine.” and shows the audience Curtin’s author photo on the book jacket. Morris assumes Curtin grew up in Harlem and this is where she gained a “street sense that seems to permeate the core of (her) work.65 give “enriching insight into the urban black experience. and Morris makes the obvious comment: “you look nothing at all like your picture.. ‘black’ is fine. yet she pretends to understand black culture and the experience of black people. Morris acknowledges that her novels suggest a “background steeped in the traditions of the sharecroppers of the ‘30s. ‘jungle bunny. their reaction is the opposite.” Curtin corrects him and admits: “Not exactly. this famous author is played by Curtin. I grew up in midtown Manhattan. This racial discrepancy is highlighted during the interview. New York City.’ ‘Afro-American. The fact that a white person is speaking about what it feels like to be a black person in today’s society highlights racial interactions. This interaction highlights the absurdity of a white 65 .” The interview continues and Morris asks Curtin to clarify “Which do you prefer: ‘black.” Still attempting to prove that Curtin is a genuine representation of black culture. In essence. Morris holds up Curtin’s latest book. but it is clear that this jovial response is ironic and in reality.. Garrett.’ .” Both Morris and Cutrin laugh. to be exact. Curtin represents stereotypical white culture. Madiston--Madison and 63rd. not far from the studio here.

the bidet? It can accommodate a fairly heavy carriage? He furthers the conversation by asking about the water pressure and if it is possible to “increase the pressure substantially.. One must know explicit details about people. gross humor continues until the culmination of the skit in which Wigg hands Samberg a soggy dollar bill as a tip.66 person deciding what the black race should be called.” 66 . The skit. “Black Perspective” supplies the audience with powerful social commentary that requires no prior knowledge of specific information. bidet? No per use fee or debit system? Galifinakis continues and questions if “there's a sturdiness to it. Samberg. However. about the restroom’s bidet. “gross” humor. some sketches from season thirty-five depend on knowledge of general society and require no prior knowledge of specific details. Galifinakis and Wigg. Wigg asks if “there’s no additional charge for using the. this skit utilizes bathroom jokes to create comedy. uh. some jokes that require knowledge of general society are still present in season thirty-five. “The Bidet. aware of racism in their culture and have common knowledge of general society. things and events in order to find humor in the skits. features a couple. As previously detailed in the section.. Viewers do not need to know any details. The recipients of this skit will find it comical if they are open minded to racial stereotypes. Galinfinakis admits: “It involves a bidet.16. Season Thirty-Five The majority of season thirty-five’s sketches require knowledge of specific information. While in the minority. places. rather. who are speaking to a hotel attendant.” This type of foolish. the audience must have a broad awareness of current events.” from episode 35.

A 67 . He references Jimmy Carter’s work to solve international conflicts and Al Gore’s effort to raise awareness about climate change. “Celebrity Ghost Stories” from episode 35. In the opening sketch of episode. Viewers laugh at their general.13.67 No knowledge of specific information is necessary to understand and find humor in this sketch.” Armisen mimics President Barack Obama during a Presidential Address in which he discusses winning the Nobel Peace Prize. But I am deeply honored nonetheless. and the skit “New Senator” from episode 35. As most of you are probably aware. Bush for nine months.3. He begins: “Good evening.” He claims that the news came without warning and he did not even receive a telephone call due to the time difference. He admits that if he had received a phone call he would have boasted to Hillary Clinton: “"Hey. The audience only needs to have general bathroom knowledge and the willingness to hear Galfinakis and Wigg discuss their bathroom needs.” The speech continues and Obama reveals that just moments ago he won the $70 million jackpot powerball lottery. my fellow Americans. remember that 3:00 AM call you were so worried about? It happened. inappropriate and explicit references to the bidet. “opening: Presidential address.3. Nobel Peace Prize!" He continues to describe the Nobel Committee and mentions passed recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. this award was a complete surprise as I have only not been George W. yesterday the news came that I had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. To be perfectly honest. Three examples of this highly detailed knowledge include: the ‘opening: Presidential address” sketch from episode 35. He then refers to his own administration and states: “I won it for not being George Bush. Knowledge of Specific Information The majority of season thirty-five’s sketches demand knowledge of specific information for understanding. not at any particular detail.

famous people recount their encounters with ghosts. the audience will find humor in the imitation.” is full of references to specific details. First and foremost.3. brings out a large. Armisen’s reference to President Bush assumes that the audience has prior information about Bush as well as knowledge of the vast criticisms against him. and be able to connect the luck of winning the lottery with Obama’s recent winning of the Nobel Peace Prize. Clinton ran advertisements against Obama that referenced a late night phone call. the recipients of the sketch must have detailed knowledge of many events. The first celebrity to be interviewed is Billy Bob Thorton.” from season 35. the audience must know what the powerball lottery is. “Celebrity Ghost Stories. The quick mention of Clinton presupposes the viewers’ knowledge that Clinton ran against Obama for presidency. who plays the powerball every week. played by Wigg. The skit. Hilary Clinton is also mentioned. “opening: Presidential Adress. Lastly. The audience must also that during the presidential campaign. The sketch. mannerisms and word choice. Armisen artfully mimics Obama’s speech patterns. is a promotional advertisement for a new series on the Biography Chanel that features interviews with multiple famous celebrities. Michelle. President Obama then concludes by referencing the sound judgement of his financial team and his wife. the viewers must know President Obama and recognize him from Armisen’s imitation. imitated 68 . $70 million check addressed to President Obama. By observing these details and applying them to President Obama. Without knowledge of these highly specific details. the audience would not find humor in this skit.68 staffer. vocal inflection. They must know that President Obama was just awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and that there was controversy surrounding this award. In addition to prior knowledge of people. During these conversations.

After Osborne. He references Thorton’s band and claims that when in a haunted house. He impersonates McConaughey’s voice by speaking in a Californian accent and slow speech pattern. he wrote a new song titled: “On second thought (ghosts scare me very 69 . In response. He mimics Thorton’s speaking style by talking out of the side of his mouth and in a southern twang. Barrymore is seen in a bright red wig and flannel top while she holds a small lap dog. Thompson appears as a special ghost expert who wrote the theme song for the movie Ghostbusters. a goatee and tattoos all over his arm. He claims that ghosts began haunting him after he wrote the song’s lyrics. I love noodles!” followed by long. Osborne is portrayed as a spoiled celebrity when she claims that she is haunted by ghosts when she arrives home and finds a blouse she has left out mysteriously folded and put in the drawer. It is revealed that Osborne believes “Mexican ghosts” did this cleaning. unwashed hair without a shirt. mimicked by Elliot. tight black tank top and a bright blond wig. wearing a shell neclace and holding a volleyball. Samberg appears on screen wearing a backwards-brimmed hat. This speech is best represented in the line: “alright.” The next conversation is with Anna Faris. Only after her boyfriend told her it was noodles did she respond: “oh. alright. Barrymore mimics Osborne’s English accent. She imitates Faris’ ditzy manner of speech and slightly slurs her words. He has grey hair. a leather vest with nothing underneath and sunglasses pulled down his nose. drawn out laughter. elongate words and constantly swears. Sharon Osborne is imitated by Drew Barrymore.69 by Samberg. She is shown on screen wearing a revealing. He appears on screen in long. After Faris. Elliot claims to have been at a sushi restaurant and seen a face in her soup.” Next. alright. special guest Justin Long emulates Mathew McConaughey. “sometimes I would put on my album and it would sound terrible.

They are having a discussion in regards health care reform and mention that the recent senate election in Massachusetts has disrupted the course of their plans. Scott Brown. viewers would not understand the humor in this skit. To comprehend Elliot’s mimicry of Faris. The sketch. He is having a meeting with fellow democrats Nancy Pelosi. Robert Byrd. This sketch is heavily dominated by detailed parodies of celebrities.” from episode 35. Slate’s impersonation of Yi is only understood if the recipient of the joke is familiar with Yi’s distinctive style of comedy. pigtails and glasses. Without vast knowledge of pop culture. will ruin their agenda. The humor of Long’s McConaughey impression is evident if the audience knows McConaughey’s laid back manner of speaking and his tendency to not wear his shirt. The audience must have detailed prior knowledge of specific information of five celebrities and a popular song in order to understand and participate in the humor. They also must have previous knowledge of Thornton’s attempt at creating and starring in a band. Hader.70 much). In order to find humor in Thompson’s appearance as the writer of the Ghostbuster’s theme song. his mannerisms and his style of dress. the audience must know Thorton’s distinct voice. The parody of Osborne is humorous if the recipients of the joke have previous knowledge that Osborne is from England and constantly uses vulgar language. unintelligent blonds. Armisen.” In order to find humor in Samberg’s imitation. Barbara Boxer. The group is afraid that the newly elected Massachusetts’s senator. Wigg. Frank 70 . viewers must know the original Ghostbuster lyrics. viewers must know that Faris traditional portrays promiscuous.13. “New Senator. Pedrad and Barney Frank. Slate impersonates Charlene Yi. Yi is wearing a hooded sweatshirt. played by Will Forte.” Lastly. She scrunches up her face and states: “I guess I was haunted? I don’t know. Lastly. begins in the office of Senator Harry Reed.

in my underpants. before Brown accidentally barges into the meeting once again. Because I just found a lump.” Pelosi snaps Boxer out of her daydream only to be once again interrupted by Brown at the door. you're the Speaker of the House? Well.. Brown. Nancy.. This time. Brown exits and Boxer begins to daydream about Brown as a topless doctor who speaks to her in explicit sexual innuendo. then smiles at Boxer. Byrd puts on his glasses to get a good look at's called. Barney! You worried about a filibuster? Because I'm about to "filibust" out of these jean shorts!” Barney then extends his fingers and pinches his fantasy Browns butt. His imaginary Brown states: “Hey.” As he leaves. played by Hamm. hi. Her vision of Brown seductively says: “Hey there.” Reed refocuses the meeting. I'm against the public option but I can offer you a pubic option. your panties.. and Brown winks twice at him. I am open to anything. 71 . looks to the camera and winks. Brown stares at Pelosi and reveals: “I'm looking forward to working. Brown interrupts them at the door. This time. I want to introduce something to the floor -..” Just then. and once again. Pelosi begins to fantasize about Brown dressed in chaps.71 describes Brown as “Some pretty boy who drives a truck and showed his hiney in ‘Cosmo’. Byrd immediately begins to fantasize in black and white about Brown dancing as a 1920s flapper. Trust me. Her fantasy Brown suggestively states: “Oh. Frank begins to daydream about Brown as a construction worker. Brown looks at Frank and claims: “we have to put partisan politics behind us and be openminded.” As Brown exits.. Barbara. I hope you're a screamer in the bedroom. closely with you. The skit concludes by Reid attempting to rejoin the meeting while the other democrats continue to think about Brown.. How's your health care plan going? You know. a man accidentally barges into the meeting and reveals that he is Scott Brown.

the audience must have detailed knowledge of Brown. This information aids the viewers in identifying the humor in his daydream of Brown in black and white dancing as a flapper. Snooki and the situation from the Jersey Shore played by Moynihan and Hader. the audience must have detailed knowledge of multiple events and people. and its success depends entirely on the assumption that the audience has knowledge of this specific information. They must also know that Senator Scott Brown won the disputed election and as a result. Monique played by Thompson. the skit will not be humorous. Reid. Frank and Byrd. Other Examples of Parodies that Need Specific Information Season thirty-five is dominated by parodies that require the audience to have vast amounts of prior knowledge of specific information.” contains vast amounts of particular information. The audience must also know that Byrd is much older than other politicians. the viewers must have awareness of the recent senate elections in Massachusetts. Boxer. Larry King played by Armisen. Guy Fiori played by Moynihan. Firstly. Maya Angelou played by Thompson and James 72 . In particular. Kathy Lee and Hoda played by Wigg and Slate. They must recognize the importance of this election in regards to health care reform and in consideration of the democrats’ power. President Obama played by Armsin. the democrats’ power has been lessened and the chances that health care reform will pass have been reduced. In order to fully understand the humor in this skit. Without this knowledge of specific information. recipients of the joke must know that Frank is homosexual. Examples of parodies of particular people in season thirty-five include: Supreme court judge Sonia Sotomayor played by Jenny Slate. Pelosi. “new senator. This knowledge helps the audience find humor in his fantasy of a construction worker. Secondly. Wolf Blitzer played by Sudekis.72 The skit.

places and things in order to find humor in the sketches. the Situation Room. parodies of events include the State of the Union Address and health care reform. The types of comic devices used as well as the necessary types of prior knowledge required vary greatly between season one and season two. The implications of these distinctions reflect trends in culture and what current society views as humorous. while parody and invective are frequently used in season thirty-five. Parodies of specific things include: Barnes and Noble. The audience needs prior knowledge of these people. Nightly News and 30 Rock. Dr. The Today Show and Larry King Live. and various television shows such as Law & Order. the character Don Draper. Oz. while season thirty-five requires prior knowledge of specific information.73 Carville played by Hader. Season one entails the need for prior knowledge of general society. Satire and socially inappropriate humor are utilized in season one. 73 . Lastly.

while surprise is the common choice for simple humor in season thirty-five. These findings suggest that the audience of SNL in 1975 responded best to physical humor. irony. The type of humor used by a generation reflects what that culture finds funny. The fact that the application of these comic devices has remained relatively stable over time suggests that both the audience of 1975 and the viewers of 2010 find these humor categories comical. Slapstick evokes laughter in the audience when the viewer finds humor in the physical comedy of the comedian. logical implausibility. Therefore. while the viewers of SNL in 2010 better react to the unexpected. Some Humor Never Changes There was relatively little change in the use frequency of clownish. surprise relies on visual or verbal incongruity that the spectator is not suspecting. 74 . The following section explores the possible reasons for why the frequency of a particular humor use increases. and gross humor types. Slapstick is prevalent in season one.74 CHAPTER 6 IMPLICATIONS Variations in humor use and required prior knowledge clearly vary between season one in 1975 and season thirty-five in 2010. Varying Degrees of Simple Humor Slapstick and surprise are both types of simple humor that appear in varying degrees between seasons. these discrepancies illustrate how changes in the use of humor implicate culture and reveal societal values. misunderstanding. decreases or remains stable over time. In contrast.

75 Self-Deprecation in 1975 and 2010 Self-deprecation is observed in similar frequencies in both seasons. the hosts make the audience feel superior and in turn. yet the heavy use of this comedic device in the monologues of season thirty-five’s warrants further investigation. Zach Galifinakis is a break out star from the movie. and details about their lives. The Hangover. Season thirty-five’s heavy use of self-deprecation in monologues is also a way to give information to the audience in a creative and entertaining manner. Galifinakis references his involvement in the The Hangover. the viewer is able to relate to and laugh at the host’s jokes. who remains relatively unknown in certain areas of society. downplay their own celebrity. During his monologue. It is noteworthy that all three hosts of season thirty-five representative three episodes utilized self-deprecation in their monologues. Self-deprecation humor is a method of revealing pertinent information about the host to the audience. the playing field is leveled and the audience is able to relate to the host on a more personal level. By referencing themselves in a self-deprecating style. The disclosure informs unaware audience members. hosts also reveal character traits. SNL’s current use of host self-deprecation suggests that the audience of season five requires a host who appears inferior. establishes his credibility. It is only when the viewers find the hosts substandard that they connect with them and find humor in their jokes. 75 . and allows him to relate to a broader audience. information about their pasts. In doing so. Once this new relationship has been established. By ridiculing themselves.

” uses satire to highlight cultural trends outside the boundaries of acceptability. his son. Curtin. if the use of satire results in the utilization of socially inappropriate humor as well. The sketch begins with Akroyd claiming: “they are taking over! First they bought the Sweeney's house. and then it starts to spread!” His tirade is interrupted by his daughter’s return to the table. Akryod’s rant continues: “They're taking over! Like some kind of flu bug! First one guy at the office is up with the runs. Instead of Radner. a young black woman has taken her place at the family dinner. and they bought the Thomason's house.76 Satire and Socially Inappropriate Humor Satire occurs at a slightly higher frequency in season one than in season thirty-five. Radner. The father is oblivious and continues his angry outburst: “It's scary. middle class family. Akroyd is a bigoted. The skit. Therefore. that's all. Belushi. the topic being satirized is also being criticized and deemed unfavorably. If a culture’s customs are held up for satire and judged objectionable. and his daughter.7 hosted by Richard Pryor is ripe with satiric sketches that feature socially inappropriate humor. The character’s speech. they're taking over. these beliefs will then also be considered in bad taste. I'm telling you!” The phone rings and Radner gets up from the table to answer the call. it just scares 76 . white. racist father who sits at the dinner table with his wife. mannerisms and wardrobe satirize this family as a typical. This increase is so slight it would have been deemed insignificant if not for that fact that season one also experiences a higher rate of socially inappropriate humor as well. Socially inappropriate humor finds comedy in unsuitable topics that are outside the boundaries of accepted good taste. and then they bought the Smith's! Let's face facts here. Episode 1. “taking over the neighborhood. Satire highlights the particular traditions of a society and holds them up for criticism.

next day one's President. Once again. and the next day you are working for one!” Next. Barbra Streisand. This satire of a traditional. the audience sees he has transformed into Richard Pryor. The high frequency of satire and socially inappropriate humor in season one reveals that the 1975 audience question questions these perceived cultural norms. gender discrimination and drug use. next day one's. white.. Coupled with this increase in parody is an even steeper rise in the frequency of invective. the high incidence of socially inappropriate humor in season one suggests that the topics being satirized in 1975 were problematic societal customs. the son leaves the table and upon his return. People laugh at his prejudice because it makes them uncomfortable. yet in his ignorance. While satire occurs in relatively equal frequencies in both seasons. I don't know. Parody makes fun of a specific person. The use of 77 . I've got eyes. thing or event through impersonation or imitation. this skit highlights race relations and racial tension in society. Akroyd’s racist comments about “them taking over” are beyond the limits of accepted good taste.” Lastly. By using satire coupled with socially inappropriate humor. he has remained oblivious to his family transforming right in front of him.77 me! One day you're living next door to one. I can see!” Akroyd has spent the entire skit ranting about having to live next to another race. The father fails to notice any change and concludes: “I was saying that they are taking over! I can see it happening all around me! I know. middle class family provides harsh social commentary on race relations. Akroyd remains unaware and his rage persists: “One day one's Governor. Parody and Invective Parody occurs at double the rate in season thirty-five as in season one. These topics include race relations. bigoted. Curtin leaves the table and returns as a black woman as well.

These skits highlight broad.” When question why. general topics such as race relations. from the MTV television show. Humor in season thirty-five is more personal and more specifically hostile than comedy in season one.” Meyers then asks her about her nickname.78 this comedic device is five times as frequent in season thirty-five as in season one. Just as parody mimics the personality of a particular person. gender discrimination.13 provides an example of harsh invective coupled with parody that ridicules the character of a specific person. During the conversation. “Spalding. Prior Knowledge of General Society and Social Commentary Season one is marked by large amounts of social commentary and cultural critiques. Episode 35. The Jersey Shore. shows off her hair “poof” body double. Due to its personally abrasive nature. invective challenges the character of an individual. Snooki discusses recent contract negotiations between MTV and The Jersey Shore cast. and sexual exploits. Particular characteristics are highlighted by parody and mocked through invective. The increase in invective and parody use over time suggests that the audience of SNL season thirty-five finds the most humor in personal attacks of character. Snooki responds: “because I’m orange. leathery and get passed around by sweaty dudes. she is being called ugly and sexually promiscuous. during an appearance on Weekend Update with Seth Meyers. Season thirty-five of SNL uses parody to target specific qualities of certain individuals and ridicules these characteristics through the use of invective. 78 . invective is often coupled with parody. and Snooki reveals that she has a new nickname.” This invective ridicules Snooki’s appearance. and uses many of her signature catch phrases. fashion taste. such as “smoosh. Moynahan mimics Snooki. In essence.

” As the interview progresses.” “cracker.” “Burrhead.” “Jungle bunny. This understood importance led to controversial sketches that pushed the limits of acceptability. Chase interviews Pryor for a job the skit. The use of this extreme social commentary is not seen in season one. “Negro” to which Pryor responds.” and Pryor responds with the first word that comes to mind. the words become increasingly daring and offensive.” “white trash.13. such as “fast. “nigger”. “Whitey. The above examples 79 . “Ofray. Examples include Gilly blowing up Gigli in the skit “Gilly” from episode 35.” As their exchange of racially insensitive slurs continues. The tense conversation concludes when Chase says the ultimate racial slur.” “spearchucker. The producers of SNL season thirty-five would not dare risk the criticism that accompanies the use of this highly offensive language. Season thirty-five carefully uses socially inappropriate humor and typical associates it with death.” “redneck. and drug use.” This uncomfortable exchange continues: “Tarbaby. This skit uses dramatic social commentary to highlight issues of social injustice. The use of this word shocks the audience and reveals the harsh reality of current race relations. Greg attacking the football coach in “Randy and Greg Sports Talk” from episode 35.” “peckerwood.7. Chase says a word.” Chase begins by administering a typical free word association test. “word association. the audience becomes more uncomfortable and in tune with the portrayed racism.16.79 prejudices. such as “slow. In episode 1. and Armisen kissing his dead father during the sketch “kissing family at a funeral” in episode 35. The high prevalence of these controversial topics within season one suggest that the 1975 audience found these social issues to be of great significance. Chevy says.3. aggression and light social taboos.” “Colored.

“Celebrity Ghost Stories” from episode 35. These skits push past the boundaries of what is socially acceptable and expose a critiqued expose of current culture. only life experience is necessary to understand and find comedy in the jokes. thing or event being mimicked. In these sketches. parody remains comparatively unused in season one. Described in full detail earlier. yet they do not explore the underbelly of society like the socially inappropriate humor of season one. skits rely on the low prior knowledge of general topics and social situations for humor. Season thirty-five’s tendency to utilize specific information suggests that viewers understand the parodies and that therefore. Season thirty-one carefully selects slightly unsuitable topics and quietly references them. they have the prior knowledge necessary to recall past information and find humor in the jokes. Prior Knowledge of Specific Information and How We Receive It Season thirty-five’s dependence on parody leads to the need for much prior knowledge of specific information. the fact that season one does not center on parodies and personal humor suggests that perhaps. Anna Faris and Sharon Osborne are mimicked. Instead. The majority of the skits assume that viewers know the person. the audience of 1975 is more concerned with general. Unlike season thirty-five. In contrast. The viewers of 80 . season one chooses highly disputed issues and thrusts them into the spotlight. Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank are impersonated.13 in which Senator Brown. societal issues and less aware of specific details concerning people. and the skit “new senator” from episode 35. some of these skits include: the ‘opening: Presidential address” sketch from episode 35. things or events.3 in which Armisen imitates President Obama. In contrast.3 in which Billy Bob Thornton.80 make the audience uncomfortable.

In 2010. A thirteen year old in Minnesota can stream the Jonas Brother’s concert live from California. SNL season one limits the amount of specific parody utilized. if you do not know that Snooki has a bump. general topics and social commentary? Season thirty-five is produced in a generation where social networking. satire and inappropriate humor shed light on cultural trends and societal attitudes. cable television and the Internet have made newsgathering quick. easy and ubiquitous. invective. while the viewers of season one remain limited to broad. Information is everywhere.81 season one do not have the prior knowledge necessary to evoke previous information and therefore. a middle aged business man can read the latest political scandal on his Kindle. Season thirty-five of SNL relies on parody and exploits this ubiquitous knowledge. John Edwards has a love child. and a college student can watch an unlimited supply of realty shows on a countless number of cable stations. variations in the use of parody. 81 . you are the minority. Why is the audience of SNL season thirty-five able to recall vast amounts of specific information about various celebrities and politicians. or that Simon Cowell is the mean judge on American Idol. While come humor types have remained stable over the past thirty-five years.

By discovering what type of humor each season of SNL utilizes most frequently. and prior knowledge of general society is required for appreciation. The humor of each SNL season reflects the values of its viewers and reveals the underlying fundamental beliefs of its audience. millions of viewers rely on Saturday Night Live for their weekly dose of laughter. It has become a lasting tradition and an institution of American comedy. understand. or any year in between. events and things. In the first season of SNL. and find humor in these highly specific references. If its past success serves as a guide. The audience of 1975 values social commentary and finds significance in humor that underscores controversial principles. Whether it is 1975. Through social networking. season thirty-five utilizes parody and invective most frequently. The viewers of 2010 appreciate comedy that imitates and personally ridicules specific people. and innovations in media consumption. this study uses a comparative analysis to highlight what the viewers of that season find most humorous. In contrast. while prior knowledge of specific information is necessary for understanding.82 CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION Trends in the use of humor use reflect the commonly held beliefs of the audience who finds that particular use of humor comical. Through this identification. this generation is able to identify. SNL will remain 82 . These changes reveal discrepancies in both the beliefs as well as the method of information gathering of each generation. omnipresent communication sources. 2010. it is revealed that the audience of 1975 values drastically different types of humor than the viewers of season 2010. satire and socially inappropriate humor are the most frequently used types of comic devices.

children and grandchildren alike will be persuaded by those magical seven words: “Live from New York.83 both an ongoing. comedic custom of society and also a reflection of what that culture values and believes. it’s Saturday Night!” 83 . Parents.

Knowledge of real life experience .Physical Humor -Incongruity Theory .Physical humor .84 APPENDIX Episode 1.Social commentary (impersonates a white guy) .Chase enters and tried to check in… samuri belushi only grunts and swipes sword… uses his sword to point him in directions .Talks about white guys (Impersonates being white.Talks about women.Relief Theory -Social commentary (Pryor wanted Morris bc he is black) . with voice) Samuri Hotel – .Prior info of what drunks act like and the stereotypes of white people will make the jokes funnier .Superiority Theory .Talks about drugs (impersonates being on drugs) .Satire (Pryor impersonates a drunk.Relief Theory . a druggie and a white man) .Real life observations .Prior knowledge of race would highlight the social commentary Pryor 6:15 .Slapstick (Belushi’s sword and swordfight with Pryor) .7 Original airdate December 13.“Samuri Hotel” is written stereotypical asian bamboo letter .Slapstick (Chevy falls) .Helps if you know what a samurai is Belushi Chase Pryor 3:30 .Exploits stereotypes (Asia/samurai) 84 .Clownish (Samuri as a hotel manager) .Relief Theory .Slapstick (Pryor uses physical humor and lies on floor) .Surprise (Samuri as a hotel manager) .Belushi is dressed as a samuri… he is putting letters in the mailbox of the hotel with a karata chop .Pryor enters as the bell boy in a Akroyd Curtin Chase Morris 2:00 .Physical Humor . how they always leave him and tell him why (real life observations) . 1975 Hosted by RICHARD PRYOR SKETCH CAST / LENGTH HUMOR CATEGORIES ADDITIONAL NOTES PRIOR INFO NEEDED Opening – Dan and Jane are out to dinner… Morris and Chevy are their waiters… Morris says he wants to do the opening this week because Pryor asked him to do it…Chevy says that’s always his job… Morris does a bad fall so Chevy teaches Morris how to fall… Morris yells the opening after Chevy falls Monologue – .Talks about drunks at a bar (impersonates drunks at a bar) .

Satire (Commentary on race and the police) .makes out with new wife .Race .Wordplay (Tops in pops slogan) .Social .85 samuri costume…pryor and belushi swordfight Looks at Books – Curtin .policeman voice asks woman to pick the correct suspect… she says it’s the one in the handcuffs Word Association – .Chevy pastes his picture over akroyds in the family picture Police Lineup 1 – .Insurance .Satire (Pryor mimic a white man.Curin as host with a special Pryor guest.Intellectual .Pryor gets mad.Death .Wordplay Commentary (Word (Racial slag association) and prejudice .Incongruity Theory .Pryor pretends to be white.Yes.Socially inappropriate humor (laugh at man’s death) .life insurance for a replacement Dad… more than money.Highlights stereotypes .Chase is interviewing pryor and does a psych analysis of word association .Relief Theory -Incongruity Theory .Background info on race relations and the police .Surprise (not expecting a new man to replace your husband) .Surprise (Pryor looks like a white person in his photo) .Family . replacement as a husband and lover too . some .Akroyd is first dad. pryor says white… then goes into racist words .Not really Chase Belushi Pryor random :30 Chase Pryor 2:30 .Irony (A black man is trying to understand the plight of the white man) . Commentary on race) .Yes.Not really .Prior knowledge of pop culture (“Black like me” .Socially words) . some . then Chase comes in as back up dad under the “new dad” policy .Pryor has written the books “White like me” .Superiority Theory .Superiority Theory .Relief Theory . and pryor in a robe and handcuffs) .Race expecting Chase -Inappropriate to ask racially words insensitive . boy as a boyscout.pryor says the “only way to understand the white man’s 2:30 problems” was to become a white man . pryor who is an author on race books .Social commentary . and has a picture of himself as a white person Life Insurance – . belushi as a dr.Surprise (not . chase ends up giving him the job with extra pay Chase Akroyd Newma 1:30 .Relief theory words) .Intellectual .Socially inappropriate humor (Racism) . and mimics a white person.Knowledge of racial slang and race relations needed 85 .“Tops in pops” slogan .Intellectual .starts off and then says black.Prior knowledge of race relations .Social Commentary (on race) .four suspects enter the lineup (chase in a suit.

.Relief Theory .first mom leaves. Racism) .appears in an editorial against “busting school children” .Satire (Pryor and other black character imitate the white characters) (the family acts like a stereotypical bigot “white family”) .Prior info on race relations Taking Over the Neighborhood – .the original white family is very typecast as a typical “white family”.Intellectual -Incongruity Theory .Knowledge of the words 86 .she is outraged… until chase lets her know it’s actually Chase Radner 1:30 -Misunderstand.Not really . then daughter.Not Really .Superiority Theory .Satire (of race’s effect on hiring practices) . they are acting in a similar stereotypically “white” manner Pryor Belushi Akroyd Radner Curtin Random Random 2:00 Weekend Update – Emily Litella – .Relief Theory .Stereotypical white middle class bigot family sits down to dinner .Incongruity Theory . and when their black counterparts come back.Intellectual (Litella -Incongruity confuses the Theory words “bussing” and .Social commentary (on race… “taking over”) (and on feminism… when curtin leaves the table she does so to clean. a bigot racist family) .father is talking to his family about how “they” are taking over the neighborhood .Socially inappropriate humor (race relations. then son.Superiority Theory .86 and benefits inappropriate humor (Racially insensitive words. and each one comes back as a black person .Irony (bigot is now surrounded by a black family and doesn’t even realize it… says soon they will be at your own table) .Surprise (The white character come back into the scene as black characters) .Intellectual . because that “is a women’s job”) .

Relief Theory .Slapstick (Pryor falls to the floor) -Misunderstand.Intellectual .Intellectual .Not really Police Line Up 2 – .Superiority Theory -Incongruity Theory .Socially inappropriate humor (Race relations) .Not really .Social commentary (race relations) . a refrigerator.a military general (akroyd) shows personnel (pryor) the latest military innovations that he will be taking on his mission .Socially inappropriate humor (Pryor dies) .87 “bussing school children” “busting” .Socially inappropriate humor (Race relations) .Intellectual -Incongruity Theory .Background info on race relations and the police .so pryor takes the pill (he swallows it)… only to find out akroy meant take it on your mission with you because it will kill someone in 12 seconds .Disabled people . and a nun… so obviously the women chooses Pryor Pryor Curtin :15 Military Death Pill – .Wordplay (take or take) .Background info on race relations and 87 .Physical .Not really .Wordplay (“bussing” and “Busting”) Headmaster of school for the Hard of Hearing – .Satire (of aids for the hard of hearing) .take this thing and this thing and “take this pill” . (Pryor misinterprets Akroyd) .the pryor dies Police Line Up 3 – .Logical Implausibility (Fridge in the lineup.Police line up with Pryor.Morris appears and yells the nights headlines for those who can’t hear well Chase Morris :30 . “open the fridge please”) .five people in line up… pryor and 4 cops who are all pointing their fingers at him Akroyd Pryor 1:00 Pryor :30 .Superiority Theory .Social commentary (race relations) .Not really .Satire (race relations and police) .Relief Theory .Intellectual .

Physical . and then he gets assassinated) .Socially inappropriate humor (Man gets shot and dies) .pryor is scared at first.then he gets shot . some .Surprise (Little girl is possessed and swearing) .Slapstick (Pryor gets beat up and attacked by possessed girl) .audience member yells to pryor Random about knowing information about the assassinations and what was real :30 .Assassinatio . outspoken woman .Physical humor .Relief Theory .Impersonates druggie who goes to jail and wants his job back of 8:00 processing licenses in jail .Superiority Theory 88 . if not still funny (due to the physical humor) Audience Member Yelling – Pryor .Race .Talks about dealing with the white man .Socially inappropriate humor (Girl is possessed and shouts obscenities) .pryor and random are priests called into curtins house to do an exorcism on her daughter (newman) .Superiority needed Theory .still funny because the guy falls Monologue 2 – Pryor .Relief Theory .Slapstick (Physical impersonations) .Impersonates grandmother… an reference .Pop Culture .Knowledge about the movie the Exorcist . jail) .Satire (of a white person) (and a druggie) .Irony (talking about assassination.Parody (Imitation of the movie the exorcist) .Yes .But.Superiority Theory .Race .88 .Relief Theory .Relief Theory the police is .Girl tricks pryor multiple times and gets him every time Pryor Curtin Newma Random 4:45 .Political . assassination conspiracy) .Social .Satire (race relations and police) Exorcism – .Not really commentary (race.Yes. random tells him not to be .Girl drops bad on Pryor’s foot .Superiority Theory -Incongruity Theory .Slapstick (guy falls) .Social Commentary (race. employment.Knowledge of assassination s .Girl is crazy and possessed… yells filthy things at them with foul language .

some Commentary .Not really… Most humor based on the silliness of the Bee .Physical Pres.Logical implausibility (A huge Bee) .Slapstick (Chase hits the be Belushi) .Slapstick .Yes.talks about being the first woman host… mentions that this still doesn’t make up for the ERA vote .President .89 Closing Credits – Cast surrounds Pryor with food Episode 1.We’ll “bee” right back Ad for Ambassadors – -International Ambassador Training Institute Bergen Chase Belushi 2:00 .Yes. 1975 Hosted by CANDICE BERGEN SKETCH CAST / LENGTH HUMOR CATEGORIES ADDITIONAL NOTES PRIOR INFO NEEDED Opening – .Wordplay (Use of subtitles) . Ford .Political .Visual Pun . but he thinks he is” .Belushi dressed in a Bee costume stands by Bergen… chase come out and says “you have a bee on you” .Social .Chase stumbles through his presidential speech and falls down a lot and miss pours water Chase 2:15 .Slapstick (Chase falls) .Parody (Chase as President Ford) . some .Relief Theory .Knowledge of the ERA vote Monologue – .Superiority funny Theory without prior knowledge .Intellectual .Physical .Incongruity Theory .Satire (Ambassadorshi p and who .Prior knowledge of .Social Commentary (The ERA vote -feminism commentary) .Chase shoos the bee and the see talks back .Clownish (Man dressed as a Bee) .4 Original airdate November 8.Relief Theory fall makes it .Wordplay (We’ll “bee” right back) .Knowledge .Chase as Ford… with subtitles “this is not actually the President.Relief Theory of what an 89 .

Incongruity funny with Theory no prior due . and no need to be smart) CIA Desk – .Parody (Imitations of the movie jaws) (Imitation of the characters in Jaws.Not really .Knowledge of the CIA and it’s practices Chase Radner Akroyd Belushi Newma Curtin Bergen Morris 4:00 .Morris enters and asks to see the file on himself . I’m having a party.Intellectual .he receives a phone call about the presidential change and says “always the last to know” as he changes the president to Bush .Akroyd is a CIA agent and he is totally disorganized. like the captain) . the bad news is that you’ll be becomes an ambassador) ambassador is and what one does 1:45 .Intellectual Jaws .voice over suggests becoming an ambassador… claims you get all the attention.Social commentary (CIA Practices – did not even know about the new president) (people’s paranoia) .Physical .Superiority Theory (Laugh at how stupid CIA is)… (Laugh because Morris is inadvertently incriminating himself) .When Morris leaves.Knowledge of the movie .Clownish (the reasons the shark gives for answering the door… but then the women fall for them) . and his desk is an absolute mess .90 .see a parody of the captain and crew from jaws and they are talking about the horrible landshark .Akroyd (as crew member) calls guy (Wallace) to tell him his wife was just eaten by the landshark and says “I have good news.Akroyd informs him the place is too messy to find his file.Satire (of CIA offices) .But.Relief Theory humor 90 .pop culture .Women answer their doors for various clownish reasons.Landshark comes up with funny reasons for them having to answer the door .Irony (CIA seems stupid. and asks him to give him some information about himself so they can find it .begins with wife and husband in stereotypical roles and husband is unhappy with his job . Akroyd calls him in and reports his file Landshark (Jaws II) – .Physical humor .film reference .Superiority to the Theory physical . still . and each time it is the “landshark” who then eats them .Logical implausibility (Shark on land is the most .Political Akroyd Morris 3:30 . can do what you want.Yes . but he actually just tricked Morris into incriminating himself) .Morris then inadvertently reveals all of the crimes he has committed so that he can try to find his file .

shows the one guy dressing up like his mom when he was little .Slapstick (See shark eating people) Random :45 -Wordplay (Pun on the words “Here” and “Her”) .Ad for drugs… but then the hands can’t get the pill bottle Hands VO :45 .VO says long distance calling plan so you can call mom .Irony (drugs .Socially inappropriate humor (The shark kills people) .Social commentary (homosexual) … side: gay rights groups petitioned to have this sketch removed -Incongruity Theory . newman.Superiority have child proof Theory tops.Wordplay (Akroyd’s quip about going stag to Wallace on the phone) .Feminism for arthritis .two guys.Not really 91 . and curtin .ends with “It is the next best thing to being her” (making reference to calling and “being here” and then dressing up as a woman and “being her” Weekend Update – Commercial for Arthritis – .Surprise (not expecting the word play) . one guy calls his mom .Landshark knocks on Bergens door and she was just listening to a report on the land shark… so she opens the door and hits the shark… but it ends up really being a salesman and she knocks out Morris “notorious predator”) .show hands just rubbing each other while a voice over talks about inflammation and living with arthritis .91 coming stag” .Not really Commercial for Long Distance Calling Plan – . she hits the person and it’s really just a salesman) .Irony (when the final women is smart and thinks it’s the land shark.Intellectual .Landshark eats radner. but then patient can’t get them open) .

Superiority Theory .Chase is making faces in the background and mocking her as 1:30 she speaks .But not much information is needed 92 .Satire (women and how they Commercial for Perfume – Bergen .gives a serious editorial .Self Deprecation (Talk about everything that is wrong with them) .Politics (ERA vote) .Physical .Yes.Still funny .she says it’s so hard being this beautiful and famous 1:00 . some .Satire (of aids for the hard of hearing) .Not really .Parody (perfume commercials) (actresses/mode ls that take themselves too seriously) .Intellectual .Pop culture .Not really commentary (feminism) .Political .Superiority due to Theory slapstick Insecurities (Mini Mono) – .Social commentary (Feminism ) .Radner talks to Bergen about her being so pretty… and wants to know about times Bergen feels insecure .Irony (Curtin is seriously presenting the opposing news to show how absurd it is) .Clownish (Chase makes clownish faces) .Slapstick (Bergen sits up and the perfume is stuck to her head) .Physical of perfume .Bergen and Radner sit and talk about their insecurities .Prior info on women’s rights .Social .Knowledge .Bergen as a French actress with an accent selling Chanel perfume .Poke fun at themselves and Bergen Radner 3:30 .Intellectual .Superiority Theory .92 open Congresswomen Jane Curtin – .says SNL gets criticized for not presenting opposing sides… so they are doing this editorial to present the opposing sides Chase Morris .Intellectual commercials .Yes.Relief Theory Headmaster for the Hard of Hearing .Slapstick (Chase’s clownish faces) .Social commentary (On how our society helps disabled people) – Superiority Theory .Clownish (Morris yelling) .Relief Theory .Morris appears and yells the nights headlines for those who can’t hear well Curtin Chase :30 . some .

Talk about this bodies and being feminine .Socially inappropriate humor (The man threatens the woman’s life with sadistic threats) .Insensitive racist language (rag head) .Superiority Theory -Incongruity Theory . sadistic guy calls trans Random America airlines and creepyli talks to and threatens the :45 receptionist (Newman) .Relief Theory -Incongruity Theory Interview with Leader – Bergen .Finally.Knowledge on news organizations and their practices 93 .Bergen is host of a talk show . But in reality the audience knows it is not) .Akroyd and Belushi are guests on her show… they are Kiwi trappers who trap the “dangerous” (not really) kiwi brids .Bergen sits down with the Belushi leader from a third world country (Belushi) .Yes.Bergen continuously provokes him with both words and physical assaults .Superiority Theory .Irony (The trappers act like kiwi trapper is really hard and dangerous.Slapstick (Trappers attempt to trap Bergen the host) .Physical comedy .receptionist responds how she was trained and how they always do… “thank you for calling etc” .she calls him a “rag head” .Relief Theory Trans America Airlines – Newma .Satire (of a news journalist and journalism ethics) .Social commentary (news reporting) . some .The leader seems very nice. Belushi has had enough and he orders her to be .Talk about voting ERA Midnight Probe – .Incongruity Theory .the trappers take themselves very seriously.Surprise (Do not expect the journalist to attack the leader the way she does) .Not really . but Bergen continues to insult him 3:30 and egg him on .Crude and .93 their insecurities .Physical .Surprise (Do not expect the representative to respond how she does) . but it is clear that their job is not dangerous talk to each other) Bergen Belushi Akroyd 3:30 .Not really foul language .Clownish (the trappers act clownish) .Sketchy.

some .Superiority Theory -Incongruity Theory .but she admits that she grew up in midtown Manhattan .Race relations .when asked what she thinks the black community should be called. and Curtin claims this is her picture Curtin Morris 2:45 .Curtin writes about black culture and life as a black person . see.Morris has a talk show called “Black Perspective” .Surprise (Curtin’s author picture in her book is of a black woman) .Racially insensitive language .Cast gives Bergen flowers 94 .he has a guest on his show who claims to be an expert on black history (Curtin) .Yes.Knowledge of race relations Closing Credits – .Social commentary (on white people who assume they know what it is like to be black) . she jokes “jungle” then laughs and says no.The picture of the author in the book that she wrote is of a black woman.then Bergen turns to her news crew and declares.94 sentenced to death . this country in the middle east is lead by a ruthless dictator! Black Perspective – . black .Satire (White people who act as though they fully understand black culture) .Irony (white person talking about life as a black person) .

says that he is offended and 3:30 they SNL never does this. Hosted by ANTHONY PERKINS SKETCH CAST / LENGTH HUMOR CATEGORIES ADDITIONAL NOTES PRIOR INFO NEEDED Opening – Chase .Drugs .Physical humor . When he cannot find these panties he throws a tantrum and goes crazy.He says that he is superstitious and has good luck panties.But then he references the 4:30 many characters he has played .Chevy Chase is answering viewer mailbag and responds to critics that SNL draws skis out and extends them to make up time and fill space .Self deprecation (makes fun of SNL) .But gross Theory humor is .Surprise (He eats the fly.Yet as he is saying this he is purposefully drawing out his statements and wasting time (Uses lots of ums.Clownish (Chase’s general attitude) .Slapstick (Chase falls off desk) . and relies on excess reference .Knowledge of Perkin’s .A fly buzzes on screen and he eats it . He sniffs the panties) .Gross Humor (He smells the panties) . but then he acts like them) .Parody (of the .Knowledge Theory of SNL . He even stands up and then sits back down.Not really 95 .Superiority funny Theory regardless . pauses.Relief Theory .Yes. rehearsed and concise .Relief Theory characters -Incongruity . Then he lights a cigar to sit and chat) Monologue – Perkins .Self deprecation (makes fun of his characters) .Topical acting career and his .SNL .Superiority Theory .Irony (Chase is wasting so much time to say that he doesn’t waste time) .95 Episode 1.Incongruity . He finally finds the panties and he sniffs them.Pop Culture .Irony (says he is not like the characters he plays.Yes . President’s View on Marijuana 1 VO . 1976.Says that he really is nothing like the crazy characters he plays . .He peels off a band aid slowly and likes to feel the pain . SNL is always tight. some .16 Original airdate March 13.He talks about the outrageous characters that he has played.

Yes.The patient (Curtin) is visiting a new psychologist (Perkins) .Sexual actions .Wordplay (Radner thinks S & M stands for “Scrubbing and mopping”) (Radner also misunderstands .Radner is a disheveled housewife who wants to learn how to clean a house better . The helper is described as a “clean freak” who is “very strict” and will help with “S & M”.So Radner hires a maid from a service that she read about in “The Village Voice”.President’s hands are on screen (but no face is seen) . (Radner confuses an ad for a dominatrix as an ad for a maid) (Radner doesn’t know what is going on but he audience does) .Prior knowledge of president and marijuana 1:15 Hello Dolly Doctor – .Clownish (dancing together and singing) .In the middle of her sentence. Radner takes this to mean she will help her with her scrubbing and mopping.At first. They even begin to dance together to the song.Social commentary (On marijuana and its legalization) . .At the end. Curtin ignores Perkins and continues trying to talk.Curtin arrives as the maid helper. and he struggles with it president) .Invective (making fun of the president) .Knowledge of dominatrix . she starts singing Hello Dolly with him.Satire (of physiologists and their practices) -Misunderstand. . But soon. .But the president cannot roll a joint. and Perkins Curtin 2:15 .Absurdity (President smoking pot) .Topical -Incongruity Theory .Radner remains clueless.President . .President says that since there has been so much talk about legalizing marijuana he might as well try it.Curtin starts discussing her problems with the doctor . Perkins starts singing Hello Dolly.A reference to “the Village Voice” in the beginning gives away the misunderstan ding earlier . So the president attempts to roll a joint .Psychologist .Surprise (do not expect the doctor to start singing to his patient) .Political humor . some .Dominatrix .women in the house (Feminism – the women wants to learn how to clean the house better) .Superiority Theory .Superiority Theory . he says that he will see her next week for a new song Dominatrix Maids – .Not really Curtin Radner 5:00 .96 – . and it is clean to the audience that the “maid” is really a hired dominatrix.Relief Theory and makes it -Incongruity funnier Theory 96 .Social commentary (on the validity of psychology) -Incongruity Theory .

97 wants Curtin the dominatrix to teach her how to clean. - Curtin responds by being a dominatrix. - Neither woman ever discovers what the other one really wanted the descriptions of “cleaning freak” and “very stick”) - Slapstick (Curtin as the dominatrix maid whips Radner) - Parody (Perkins is playing his Bates character as if he is a real person) - Socially inappropriate humor (talks about killing people) - Parody (of the president) - Invective (making fun of the president) - Logical Implausibility (President smoking pot)

- Physical humor

Commercial for the Norman Bates School of Hotel Management – - Perkins plays his character, Norman Bates from the movie Psycho. - Perkins makes several references to scenes from the movie in relation President’s Views on Marijuana 2– - Only see the president’s hands and hear his voice over - The president is still trying to roll a joint. He brings out a tool to try to help him, but he still cannot roll a joint


- Pop culture - film reference - Relief Theory - Superiority Theory - Topical


- Yes - Knowledge of Psycho and the character Norman Bates

Hands VO

- Drugs - President -Incongruity Theory - Topical - Superiority Theory - Social commentary (on drug use) - Political humor

- Not really - Prior knowledge of president and marijuana


Weekend Update – Message – - Close up of a bald man with various diagrams drawn on his face that highlight different sections of the human head - Voice over explains the diagrams. Telling the audience that “this is the nasal center” and “this is the sinus center” - Then the head rotates to reveal Random VO 1:00 - Word play (Puns – play on the double meaning of the term “center” to mean both a designated area in the human head, and a landmark) - Environment -Incongruity Theory - Social commentary (on environmental awareness. “Land is - Not really - Must know the meaning of the words - Knowledge of Lincoln center


98 more diagrams, and the voice over explains, “this is the shopping center”, and “this is the Lincoln center” - Closing ling: “land is scarce, use your head” (also pun with phrase: “use your head”) - Surprise (the message begins like an ad for a nasal drug, and then reveals the pun) scarce, use your head”)

Meteorologist John Belushi – - Belushi is a guest with Chase on Weekend Update and is the meteorologist. - He discusses the phrase “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb”. He then compares this phrase to its interpretation in other cultures - Chase looks bored - Belushi gets really into reporting on the cultural variations of the phrase: “some cultures say Marchhops in like a kangaroo, and then stays a kangaroo for a while” - Chase tells Belushi to call down. Belushi flips out and ultimately falls off his chair

Belushi Chase


- Slapstick - Word play (variations on lion and lamb) - Satire (of meteorologist and their news stories) - Clownish (Belushi’s behavior)

- Cultures - News reporters - Weather - Relief Theory - Physical humor

- Not really - Some knowledge on the phrase and other cultures

Emily Litella – - Litella is played by Radner. Radner calls in to talk with Chase as a guest on Weekend Update. - Radner replies to an editorial - Radner says that she thinks people are way too concerned with preserving our country’s natural “race horses” - Chase informs her it is actually

Radner Chase 1:15

- Word play - Environment (pun) -Incongruity (Resources as Theory “race horses”) (Chevt Chase as “Chedder Cheese”) -Misunderstand. (Radner thinks that people are concerned about

- Not really - Knowledge of the words


99 our country’s natural resources. - Radner then asks if she is talking to “Chedder Cheese” - Chase says, no, it’s Chevy Chase. And Radner Hangs up. The “Hi” Affair – - Perkins sits down with a coworker in a café on a first date - They discuss the effect of the word “hi”. They come to the conclusion that “Hi” is what led them to this date and their affair - Then Perkins stops the small talk and asks Radner if she would sleep with him. He is very matter of fact about the affair - He says he is married so they can’t go back to his house, but he knows that the janitor’s closet will be open for another 45 minutes. - Then their waitress, Curtin, comes over to their table and says “hi” - As Perkins is leaving with Radner, many women start to say “hi” to him. - Perkins then breaks character to talk to the muppets which are on the side of the set - The muppet says that he could pretend to be Emily Litella and says he heard someone order a toasted “Muppet”. Perkins corrects him and says that it was a toasted muffin. President’s View on Marijuana 3 – - The president is still trying to roll a joint and smoke marijuana - He continues to fail Perkins Curtin Radner Random race horses when it’s really resources)


- Satire (of an affair. The bluntness of this affair highlights the prevalence of affairs in our culture) - Word play (double entendre with the use of the word “hi”)

- Dating relationships - Affairs - Sexual actions - Superiority Theory -Incongruity Theory -Incongruity Theory - Social commentary (on affairs)

- Not really

- Word play (pun) (Muffin is “Muppet””)

Hands VO :45

- Parody (of the president) - Invective (making fun of the president) - Logical Implausibility (President

- Drugs - President - Superiority Theory - Topical -Incongruity Theory - Social

- Not really - Prior knowledge of president and marijuana


an actual bee enters behind her (Belushi dressed in a bee costume) .Academia -Incongruity Theory . horror movies 100 . Perkins gives Newman a B+. Perkins.Surprise (the B the student received is an actual reference -Incongruity Theory .Not really Short film by Gary Wiess – Getting a “Bee” – . He acts ridiculous and sticks his own antennas in his mouth. And the B+ is a bee with a baby) (the bee talks) .As Perkins tells Newman why she did not deserve higher than a B. Perkins.Parody (Each movie is an imitation of a cheep horror movie) . Belushi wanders around the office as the bee.Political humor .Topical .After Newman talks to the teacher and convinces him to raise her grade.Clownish (Belushi sticks his own bee antennas in his mouth) .Word play (Pun) (a B is also a bee) 2:30 Perkins Radner Curtin Newma 4:45 . Newman.Self deprecation (Perkins is making fun of . Both scream the classic horror scream . theme song.He then shows trailers for four of the cheap horror movies he was in. goes to see her professor. and plot .When she says she got a B.Word play (Each trailer has a title that is a play on words) (Each trailer has a theme song that is a play on words) . She comes home with a new outfit and Belushi Newma Perkins Random . .Perkins tells the audience that beside his well known horror films like Psycho.Intellectual humor .“Dressed to Kill” – Radner is married to Perkins. Each trailer is complete with a title.A student. he has made many cheap horror movies .Superiority Theory .“Horror Lunch” – Curtin and Newman are out to lunch and the waiter. cheep. and hands her a baby bee to match Belushi in a bee costume Perkin’s New Horror Films – .100 smoking pot) commentary (On marijuana and its legalization) . about her Philosophy paper because he gave her the grade of a B.Yes . brings them the wrong meals.Knowledge of typical. .

Knowledge need to know about the presidency (Both Obama.Parody (imitation of Obama) . Mentions past winners and their accomplishments.The setting is a high school dance in Butt county that is run by the local sheriffs . The outfit is a dress covered in knives.Word play (Butt county) . .Hilary Clinton .Yes .Two teenagers are selected from the dance and as a rewards the police run background checks on them End – Perkins is surrounded by the cast members Akroyd Perkins Belushi Curtin Newma 3:00 himself for being a star of horror movies) .Mentions how he wants to rub this in Hilary Clinton’s face . She then gives her husband and hug and accidentally kills him . Then says the reason he won is because he isn’t Bush.Police . 2009 Hosted by DREW BARRYMORE SKETCH CAST / LENGTH HUMOR CATEGORIES ADDITIONAL NOTES PRIOR INFO NEEDED Opening: Presidential Adress – Armisen . Clinton and Bush) 101 .High school -Incongruity Theory .It is the Presidential Address.Invective (makes fun of Bush) . Wigg and Armisen imitates President Obama .3 Original airdate October 10.Irony (Obama wins the Nobel Prize.“Driven to School” – Perkins plays the parts of both the mother and the son.President Obama .Nobel Peace Price . It is about a boy being driven to school by his mom Butt County Dance – .Armisen speaks about his 3:00 recent Nobel peace price.Satire (of a small town sheriff department) . and then also gets lucky and wins the lottery) .Not really Episode 35.Slapstick (Character yelling) .Then announces he just won .Socially inappropriate Humor (people die) .101 shows her husband.Political .Superiority Theory .George Bush .

Class room . . . but both his arms are broken) . Barrymore also imitates her own acting.Yes .Irony (teacher accuses Thompson of acting out.Knowledge of the Gilly sketch and that Gigli is a parody of Gilly 102 .102 the lottery.Talks about how this is her sixth time hosting.A teacher (Forte) is doing show and tell with his class. students head shoved through painting) .Parody (Wigg.Physical humor . The teacher never suspects Gilly first. he shows that he cannot because he has two broken arms. Monologue – . And Wigg gives him a huge lottery check. and Barrymore herself parodies Barrymore) . Her name is Gigli (Barrymore) and she looks and acts exactly like Gilly.Actress .Self deprecating (Barrymore makes fun of herself) . her first time when she was six .Slapstick (Things are thrown at the teacher.Surprise (Men imitated Barrymore as well) .Knowledge of Barrymore and how she acts.The teacher introduces a new student from Italy.teacher and students . .Not really . an odd and mischievous girl.Incongruity Theory .Relief Theory . she says in a ditzy voice that it is obviously Gilly. When he accuses student two.Superiority Theory -Incongruity Theory .The teacher starts accusing different students. And student four (Wigg) is Gilly. he mentions life with his grandma.Pop culture .Someone keeps throwing things at the teacher and disrupting the teacher. She then shows clips from her “family” acting. Student Two (Thompson) has two broken arms.Wordplay (Moynahan says – “sock puppets? I thought you meant socks for a puppet”) (Gigli constantly reinterprets Gilly’s sayings into Italian) .Superiority Theory . Need to know her as an actress. Student three (Elliot) acts like a ditsy blond. .Socially inappropriate humor (Gilly blows up Gigli) .Gilly and Gigli are working Barrymo Moynah Wigg Hader Elliot Samber Pedrad Slate Thomps 4:15 Wigg Barrymo Thomps Moynah Elliot Forte 6:00 . Gilly – .Various cast members imitate Barrymore’s acting. . . Student One (Moynahan) talks about his crazy like with his grandma. When he accuses student three.She says acting is in her blood and her family has been in the movies for years. When he accuses student one.

. Celebrities talk about their experiences with ghosts.Parody (Barrymore imitates Gilly) .Knowledge of celebrity reality shows .Celebrities 4:15 . And that Mexicans do these chores for them) .Parody (Imitates other celebrity reality shows) (Samberg as Thornton) (Elliot as Faris) (Barrymore as Osborne) (Long as mcconaughe) (Slate as Yi) .Satire (commentary on teachers being oblivious in schools. Gilly blows Gigli up.Gilly and Gigli drink wine and smoke during class.Yes .Invective (makes fun of those who watch the biography channel) (All of the parodies) .Elliot imitates Anna Faris .103 together to disrupt the class. Osborne claims to have seen “Mexican ghosts” (Armisen) dong yard work . They do not get into any real trouble. . .Barrymore imitates Sharon Osborne.Thompson appears as the ghost expert who wrote the theme song for Ghostbusters. .A promo for a new series on the Biography channel called Celebrity Ghost Stories. The teacher claims: “I don’t know who could have done this”) (Elliot imitates ditzy girls) .Social commentary (Wealthy celebrities’ ignorance of chores.Knowledge of all of the celebrities . Says he had to change the album to “On second thought (ghosts scare me very much)” . Samber Elliot Barrymo Armisen (Long) Thomps .Finally.Surprise (Student two makes a boat out of a block of cheese with his teeth) (Gilly and Gigli drink and smoke) .Superiority Theory -Incongruity Theory .Slate imitates Charlene Yi.Special guest Justin Long imitates Mathen McConaughey .Samberg imitates Billy Bob Thornton .Knowledge of Ghostbusters theme song 103 .Wordplay (Thompson’s CD release) Celebrity Ghost Stories – .

The talk show continues to make mistakes.He continues to make fun of republicans Armisen Slate Thomps Forte Pedrad Random 1:45 . It is a long list written on the screen. Rush Limbaugh.Internet .Background info on Drew Barrymore Meyers Carvel 3:15 .Satire (of our educational system) .Education . His coworkers off screen are even wating pasta .Superiority Theory .Talk show host apologizes to the women he has slept with over the years just like Letterman.Invective (Carville makes fun of republicans) (Speaks against .Knowledge of Italian culture and Italian stereotypes .Knowledge of other colleges Barrymo Armisen Forte Hader Moynih 5:45 . republicans.Parody (of commercials for internet colleges) .Film .Parody (imitates Carvel) . .Information on Carville is needed 104 .Superiority Theory -Incongruity Theory .Yes.Knowledge of online universities and their commercials .Yes .Social commentary (Italian culture is sexist) .Wordplay (E.104 Commercial for the University of Westfield Online – .Barrymore appears as herself on the talk show .He discusses Obama’s Peace Prize. .Talk show host’s son comes out and he is a young boy (Moynihan) who drinks . (Talk show host continues to think that Barrymore’s new movie is the song.Yes .Westfield’s slogan. First they do not know that Barrymore does not speak Italian and calls her movies the wrong names.Political parties .The talk show host continues to disrespect women Weekend Update – .T.Letterman . is et) -Misunderstand. . . “Whip it”) .Obama .Sexual . “just don’t tell anyone” La Rivista Della Televisione con Vinny Vedecci – .James Carville (Hader) appears as a guest on Weekend Update .Imitates commercials for online universities.Knowledge of politics and political parties.The host of the Italian talk show (Hader) is a stereotypical Italian.Superiority Theory -Incongruity Theory .Invective (makes fun of certain colleges – hear groans from the audience) . some . .Satire (of Italian talk shows and Italian culture) . Has testimonials from students .Students say that Westfield gave them great tips on how to hide the fact that they graduated from Westfield.Political .

Parody .Tournament between Gretta Barrymo Wigg Sudekis Forte .Knowledge of TMZ 2:30 Tampax to the Max Tournament of Champions – . “Tampax: helping you . so now he is the richest duck.Yes . “Tampax to the max.Yes.Knowledge of Maya Angelou.A women’s billiards tournament on ESPN Classic called.Social .So Angelou reads a poem she wrote about being “Absolutely Alive” .Relief Theory .He speaks about the recent economic downturn. . tournament of champions” .film (Samberg .Nott really 105 .Socially Commentary inappropriate (do anything to humor be rich) (germs turned .sport commentary .Wordplay (commentators repeat various Tampax slogans. .Superiority dressed as a Theory duck) .pop culture .Angelou (Thompson -Incongruity imitates Theory Angelou) . He says that he has always kept his money in gold.Superiority (Angelou’s Theory poems) . .Economy imitates Scruge) -Incongruity .Clownish Theory (Samberg is .Superiority Theory -Incongruity .Wordplay .TMZ .women’s sports .105 Limbaugh) .Relief Theory Scruge into a duck monster) .Invective (Angelou speaks badly about TMZ) . -Knowledge of Scrudge .Parody . some.Wordplay (he should win the Nobel “peace of pie) Scruge McDuff – .Surprise commentary (Angelou is (TMZ and their played by a reporting) man) (and she dated Alex Rodriguez) .Angelou also writes a poem about TMZ .Scruge (Samberg) is a guest on Weekend Update.Scruge is obsessed with gold coins Samberg Meyers 3:00 .Angelou comments on TMZ’s report that she had been hospitalized .Social . .Knowledge of the economy Thomps Meyers Maya Angelou – .Angelou (Thompson) is a guest on Weekend Update.

When they begin.Satire (of the many cooking shows that are on the air .Relief Theory .Superiority Theory .Knowledge of Guy Fiori.Moynihan imitates Guy Fiori .They begin cooking chicken parmesan.Clownish (the characterization sof the woman’s billiards players) . .The announces continue to make comments on their sponsor.Socially inappropriate humor (the birds kill guy Fiori and we see Theory . (Stink continues to misinterpret Twinkle’s questions) .Phil O’Brien (Samberg) and Fran Jones (Barrymore) host a cooking show called “Cooking Alfresco” where they cook outside . Tampax .Satire (Imitation of women’s billiards . some.Commentators Pete Twinkle (Sudekis) and Greg Stink (Forte) .Stink continues to make nonbilliard related comments.Physical humor .Television -Incongruity Theory .Physical .Logical Implausibility (Birds dip the bread in the sauce) .106 Milwaukee (Wigg) and Nina Wilks Booth (Barrymore) 4:15 . 3:30 106 .Surprise (Birds attack the cooking show) .The two women billiards players are very masculine and aggressive .Stink makes homosexual comments and states that he likes when women look like men .Guy Fiori is then attacked by birds and is taken away. Barrymo Samber Moynih . Each time they bring out food the birds attack them.Social commentary (on homosexuals) Cooking Alfresco – .“Tampax – Helping you relax when mother nature attacks your slacks” relax when mother nature attacks your slacks) -Misunderstand. and he appears to know nothing about billiards . . birds attack them. .Yes.Slapstick (women’s billiard players use physical motions when they play) .Parody (Moynihan imitates Fiori) .Cooking . His skeleton is then dropped on the cooking table.Knowledge of cooking shows.

birthday parties. .Barrymore is surrounded by cast 107 .Any event includes bankruptcies.Irony(having entertainers at events like meeting your biological father and getting evicted) . and Larry King) .Yes.Wordplay (wordplay with wieners) .Surprise (not expected people to say wieners on Larry King Live) .Social commentary (On the public’s response to affairs) (and why people have affairs) Uncomfortable events in life -Incongruity Theory . His show focuses on all of the recent sex scandels. because they say wieners .Wordplay (lame jokes) .Invective (makes fun of Larry King) .Clownish (the entertainers are dressed in absurd outfits and doing craxy acts) Larry King Live – .Brenda (Barrymore) and Shaun(Armisen) are entertainers that perform at any event .Inappropria te language .They all discuss “wieners. Man one (Sudekis) and woman two (Wigg) .Larry King (Armisen) hosts Larry King Live.Still funny if not.Surprise (not expecting to use entertainers when someone is evicted) . eviction.” Comment on how men like to stick their wieners everywhere you can Sudekis Barrymo Wigg Armisen 4:45 An SNL digital short – . woman one (Barrymore).Relief Theory .News coverage .107 Fiori’s skeleton) .Music: 1980s synthesizer pop music .Slapstick (Food is thrown around and birds swarm) . Barrymo Armisen Slate Elliot Moynih Random Thomps Random Samber 2:30 .They are dressed in identical white wardrobes with matching haircuts and magenta silk ties knotted around their necks. some. .Parody (An imitation of Larry King Live.Funniest if you have knowledge of Larry King Live .He has three guests on his show. . meeting your biological father etc.Superiority Theory -Incongruity Theory .Not really Closing Credits – .

Self Deprecation (Hamm makes fun of himself for always playing the same character) .Superiority Theory .Invective (Harsh words for Martha Coakley) . and Sedekis as Biden . Wigg as Pelosi.Relief Theory .Knowledge of Mad Men and the character Don Draper . 2010 Hosted by JOHN HAMM SKETCH CAST / LENGTH HUMOR CATEGORIES ADDITIONAL NOTES PRIOR INFO NEEDED Opening: State of the Union Address– . Don Draper. unemployment.Political parties . He shows clips of these rolls.Hamm talks about his character on Mad Men.Superiority Theory . yet women still love them) . but thousands are unemployed) .13 Original airdate January 30.Says he has played many other rolls.Yes . gays in the military.Armisen as Obama.President -Incongruity Theory . Armisen Wigg Sedekis 6:45 Monologue – .Parody (Imitation of President Obama) (Imitation of the state of the union address) .imitation of the Presidential address (slice in real life footage) . the state of the white house.Surprise (Talk about the white house conditions. (saved by bell) (QVC) (Comedy Jam) Elliot Samberg Hamm Wigg 4:00 .Political .Unemployment .Irony (Obama creates three jobs.Slapstick (Hamm slaps Wigg) .Knowledge of Scott Brown’s election .Knowledge of TV shows (saved by the bell) (QVC) 108 .Obama talks about the state of the country.Parody (The character Don Draper) (Saved by the Bell sitcom) (QVC) (Comedy Jam) .Social commentary (Men who abuse women and take advantage of women.108 Episode 35. unexpected) .TV reference .Yes . .Knowledge of Obama .Homosexual laws .

dinner date with woman.1920s -Incongruity Theory .Knowledge of Senator Brown . psychologist meeting. but Wigg says thank you .Sexual -Incongruity Theory .Wigg gets angry. Some .109 Don’t Make Me Dance – .Parody (Armisen as Frank) (Hamm as Brown) (Hader as Bird) . .Barney Frank (Armisen).Selfish businessman (Samberg) steps on a homeless man’s (Armisen) dream catcher and is unapologetic.Relief Theory .Not really Samberg Hamm Slate Wigg 3:30 Armisen Hader Hamm Forte Slate .Political .” .Democrats in Senator Harry Reed’s Office. Harry Reed (Forte). so they decide to stop singing. Armisen cast a spell on him – “Sergio!” .Superiority Theory . swiveling his hips.Surprise (do not expect a half naked man to jump out) (Women gives birth to Sergio) . New Senator – .Slapstick (Sexual dance moves) (Burst out of walls) .Knowledge of Romance novels .Satire (selfish business man) (Romance novel sex icon) .Satire (People who say that don’t want attention. Nancy Pelosi Hamm Wigg Armisen Elliot Forte 5:15 . Wigg keeps missing her cue for singing .Everyone keeps telling Wigg that she doesn’t have to sing. bursts out of walls. and birth of his child.Gross (Man covered in Baby slime) . Hamm agrees and Wigg will sing.Set in NYC. Woman (Wigg) is hosting a party.But sexual dance moves make it funny . and asks a man (Hamm) to play the piano. “don’t make me dance. .Yes.Samberg is haunted by a man who doesn’t wear a shirt.Superiority Theory .Knowledge 109 . and yells “Sergio. starts playing the sax.Political parties .Superiority Theory .” Sergio – . But then she says.A party member asks for music.Irony (She says don’t make me sing.Music .While Hamm plays the piano. but she really does want to sing) . and WIgg says “don’t make me sing”.Wordplay (I’m not upset. 1920s.Everyone compliments Hamm and asks him to play more. but she keeps saying oh “don’t make me sing” . but our actually desperate for it) .Yes . .Hamm says no at first. I’m just angry) .Sergio interrupts his business meeting. .

Race Relations .Social commentary (people stereotype her as an passionate Latina) (tough neighborhoods in the Broynx) (the lack of discrimination on the Supreme Court) .She references her tough upbringing in the Broynx .Wordplay (Day dreams about Scott Brown have sexual innuendos) .Irony (says the Supreme court is a really diverse group of people.Topical / current events .Homosexual commentary of Democratic party .But then Scott Brown keeps accidentally barging into the office.Invective (Points out flaws of the Democrats) .Knowledge of Reed.Clownish (Brown’s outfits during people’s dreams) . Brown uses sexual innuendos Wigg (Slate as) (Wigg as ) (Forte as Reed) .Yes .110 (Wigg) Barbara Boxer (Slate) and Robert Bird (Hader).Inappropriate .Surprise (Snooki is a man dressed as .Snooki (Moynihan) is a guest on Weekend Update .Invective (She makes fun of the other judges) -Incongruity Theory . He speaks directly to one member of the room each time and ends with a wink.References that everyone judges her and stereotypes her as a passionate Latina . .Sotomayor (Slate) is a guest on Weekend Update . even though everyone is actually white) .Snooki discusses recent contract negotiations between Meyers Moyniha Hader Slate Sedekis .Knowledge of Supreme court judge Sonia Sotomayor Snooki – .Sexual .Knowledge of The Jersey Shore and its 110 .Superiority Theory .Then each member of the room has a daydream about Scott Brown.Surprise (Brown appears in all of their daydreams) .Talks about how everyone else on the supreme court is an old white guy Slate Meyers 2:00 . . 5:45 Weekend Update – Sonia Sotomayor – .Parody (Slate imitates Sotomayor) .Ethnic stereotypes .Knowledge of Snooki .The democrats are all sitting around discussing the election of Scott Brown and how they are hot happy with his election .Yes . Frank etc.

The situation (Hader) and his mom. Randy (Thompson) is a normal talk show host and Greg (Hader) is an alien .She also shows Meyers a double of herself known as the poof.Randy is clearly terrfied Hamm and Bublee – Hader Thompso Hamm 3:45 .music .Socially inappropriate humor (The coach is attacked) -Incongruity Theory .Relief Theory Hamm .Surprise (Greg is an alien) .Greg conducts a field interview with a football coach (Hamm) and attacks him.A talk show is call “Game Time with Randy and Greg”. but it is obvious to everyone that Greg and the coach are now both aliens .Randy continues to claim neither are aliens.Irony (Meyers continues to tell Snooki she is “breathtaking” and that he wants to touch her poof.Aliens -Incongruity Theory . the predicament (Slate) come on and say hi Forte Randoms a woman) .Parody (Moynihan imitates Snooki) (Hader as the situation) -Misunderstand. The coach is in the studio and it is clear the coach is now an alien. .Superiority Theory cast 4:00 Randy and Greg Sports Talk – .Talk show .Yes.Wordplay (Snooki uses her Jersey Shore phrases) .Not really . (Snooki things squeekal applies to all seques) .Logical Implausibility (Aliens on a talkshow) . even though it is not true) .Wordplay . .Snooki uses many of her classic catch phrases like “smoosh” .111 MTV and the cast of the Jersey Shore .Slapstick (Greg attacks the coach) .Invective (Comapres Snooki to a basketball) . some 111 .

Clownish (Man dressed in all blue suit) .the lawyer (Hamm) gets very annoyed with her.Hamm makes Bublee sing about their restaurant.Satire (infomercials) .Not really .Not really . . She types very loudly and cannot keep up with the case .court room . and for a giggle break.Superiority Theory . She takes a break for a snack.Slapstick (things are thrown at the closet organizer) .Satire (the absurdity of the court system) .Knowledge of the court practices 112 .Knowledge of infomercials The Closet Organizer (Commercial) . .Relief Theory . then spells it twice) .Surprise (a man is dressed as the women stenographer) . Armisen Hamm Hamm Wigg Thompso Moyniha Forte 4:30 .Hamm and Bublee own a restaurant called “Hamm and Bublee” that specializes in Ham and bubbly champagne.Parody (Michael Bublee’s song) .Superiority Theory .112 .The stenographer keeps interrupting the case.Wordplay (play on the spelling of Rodriguez.Social commentary (race) (Homosexual) .Gross (ham in champagne) . Hamm is very controlling.Hamm appears as a testimonial and comments on how he slept with a black tranvestitie last night Forte Wigg Hamm 1:15 Loud Stenographer – .Knowledge of their names .Incongruity Theory .Still funny due to puns and gross humor .commercial .This product is actually a man who stands in your closet and collects your junk for you .Social commentary (unintelligent court system) -Incongruity Theory -Superiority Theory .Surprise (do not expect the closet organizer to be sold at the gift store at the Vatican) . and “bublee” and Bubbly.” .An elderly woman (Armisen) is a stenographer.Absurdity (man in your closet) (Peanut butter is thrown at him) .Incongruity Theory .Knowledge of Michael Bublee’s song . Bublee Hader Pedrad Random 3:45 (Puns on their names: “hamm” and “ham”.Infomercial advertisement for a product called the “closet organizer” .

Knowledge of Barnes and Noble and that people use their restrooms Episode 35. .Knowledge of the health care bill 113 .Wordplay (The C stands for the C word) .Two men sit at a bar and one man (Hamm) recognizes the other man as the Closet Organizer (Forte) Hamm Forte Moyniha 3:15 .113 Closet Organizer at a Bar – .Yes .Knowledge of President Obama .President Obama (Armisen) speaks about health care reform.Topical .They wanted to create a place where homeless people could go to the bathroom.To make money.Period piece .President . then they sold books Closing Credits – .Superiority Theory -Incongruity Theory .Shows Barnes (Hader) and Noble (Hamm) inventing the idea od Barnes and Noble .Yes .Parody (Barnes and Noble and what their business is) .Gross (Bathroom humor) .Surprise (Hamm is from Israel) .specific current events (health care reform) .Invective (speak against .Yes .Social commentary (being famous) (homosexuals) .Continuously mentions how Armisen Forte Wigg 5:30 .A special on CNBC about the origins of Barnes and Noble .Superiority Theory .Social commentary (Barnes and Noble and their bathrooms) .political .Surprise (their idea is for bathrooms) .Parody (Armisen as Obama) (Wigg as Pelosi) (Forte as Reed) . Or other people who have been walking around all day drinking coffee.Satire (when someone meets a famous person) .Knowledge of the closet organizer from a few sketches earlier Barnes and Noble Special on CNBC . He stands with speaker Nancy Pelosi (Wigg) and Harry Reed (Forte) .Homosexual -Incongruity Theory . 2010 Hosted by ZACH GALIFINAKIS SKETCH CAST / LENGTH HUMOR CATEGORIES ADDITIONAL NOTES PRIOR INFO NEEDED Opening – .16 Original airdate March 6.Hamm surrounded by cast and crew Hamm Hader 1:30 .

And Hader even kisses a dog goodbye with tounge .Political parties .Makes fun of himself and how he looks .The couple is fascinated with the Bidet feature in the bathroom .114 unpopular the health care bill is .Socially .Self .Surprise (Do not expect this well dressed couple to be talking about a badau) .Surprise (do .Drug .Incongruity of a Bidet Theory .Real life . Wigg 4:15 .The whole family.Superiority Theory .The reverend (Galifinakis) arrives at the funeral and kisses the family on the lips and continues kissing.Knowledge .Not really not expect the commentary family to kiss open mouth) .Armisen even kisses a stranger on the lips to say goodbye. dad (Armisen) and brother (Hader) all kiss each other on the lips when they great each other .Bathroom .References smoking pot . . He brings home his girlfriend (Slate) to meet the family.Relief Theory . .Surprise (one Theory liner jokes often .Not really deprecation observations (makes fun of .Wordplay reference (Many of his .Plays a song on his piano and tells one liner jokes .Homosexual .Armisen then makes out with the dead grandfather (Forte) The Bidet – .Son (Moynihan) comes home for his grandfather’s funeral.A couple (Wigg and Galifinakis) looks at an apartment with an attendant (Samberg) .Yes humor .Pop culture his appearance) .Uses observational humor Galifina.Incongruity inappropriate Theory humor (kiss a dead man) (Family members kiss) 6:30 Kissing Family at a Funeral – .Incongruity .Gross (Talk about the bidet and bidet use) .Relief Theory 114 .Women jokes play on reference words) .Superiority have surprise Theory punch lines) .Comments on his own popularity Monologue – .Wordplay (use .They ask detailed questions about the bidet and its power and use Slate Moyniha Galifinak Wigg Armisen Hader Thompso Elliot Forte 3:45 Samberg Galifina. republicans) (about Harry Reed) . mom (Wigg).

Surprise (Zack shows up off set) .Prior info on NBC TV shows .Galifinakis shows up on set and stands off set staring at them . OZ showing off his fat belly .Self deprecation (makes fun of his fat belly) .Invective (Kathy Lee constantly makes fun of Hoda) .Zack in a home video .Surprise (Galifinakis appearing on various NBC TV) .Zack on old episode of SNL as a child) Galifina.Relief Theory .Wordplay (Wigg constantly plays with Hoda’s name to insult her) . .Slapstick makes it funny without prior Today with Kathy Lee and Hoda – .Superiority Theory . some .Zack in the background of Nightly News .Incongruity Theory .TV show .Wigg imitates Kathy Lee and Slate imitates Hoda.Zack on Dr.Kathy Lee references being drunk.Slapstick (Police tazers Kathy Lee) Zach Drops by the Set – .Prior info on Galifinakis .Pop culture . and makes fun of Hoda .The police tries to tazer Kathy Lee but it doesn’t work on her Wigg Slate Elliot Galifina.Yes .Clownish (Galifinakis acts clownish while on set) .Elliot imitates Web correspondent Sarah Hayes .Zack on Law & Order .Alcohol reference .Superiority Theory .Logical Implausibility (Zack on various sets he shouldn’t be on) .Incongruity Theory .Intellectual .Zack on 30 rock .TV reference .Knowledge of Kathy Lee and Hoda and the Today Show 6:00 115 . They imitate the fourth hour of the Today Show.115 of the word badau) .Yes. 2:30 . acts immature.Galifinakis appears on various NBC television shows . .Parody (Imitation Kathy Lee and Hoda on the Today Show) .

Yes. Armisen Hader Guest Guest Rader Sedekis Slate Pedrad Elliot 6:00 . music starts playing Thompso Meyers 2:30 . “Women’s Herstory: Did you see what I did there.Wordplay (her acceptance speech) . Paul Rudd. The speech takes way too long.Knowledge of BET talk shows and 70s music) 116 .Forte wrote a song about women’s history month called. song) (Galifinakis on the double flute) . “What’s up with that” on BET. . . and takes her time. When he stops to ask a question.Parody (Thompson as Monique) (acceptance speeches at Oscars) .Not really What’s Up With That (on BET) – .Social commentary (talk show hosts are obsessed with themselves) .Satire (of a singer from the 70s with his own talk show on BET) .Surprise (Forte’s lyric) .Satire (commentary on women’s history month) .Deondre (Thompson) is a talk show host on the show.Incongruity Theory .Clownish (Dancing.When she goes over time.Wordplay (changes history to “herstory” and says. Frank Rich.Thompson keeps singing and dancing.Social Commentary (on women’s history and women’s rights) – Incongruity Theory .116 Weekend Update – Monique – .Sedekis is dancing in a track suit Thomps.” 2:30 .Monique practices her acceptance speech on Weekend Update. some .He has three guests on the show.Talks about her Oscar nomination for the movie Precious . did you see that) (Wrote a song about women’s history) . he turns the answer into another song .Wordplay (Thompson constantly sings creative songs) . Monique) .Race (“I am not a skinny white bitch”) -Incongruity Theory . She thanks everyone.Knowledge of the Oscars and acceptance speeches Forte Meyers Will Forte on Women’s History Month – .Superiority Theory .Surprise (Man dressed up as a woman. and guest three (Hader) .Yes .Superiority Theory .Knowledge of Monique .Superiority Theory .

Knowledge of Wolf Blitzer Closing Credits – .Wolf Blitzer (Sedekis) reports in The Situation Room . Pedrad 3:30 .Superiority Theory .Slate and Pedrad are background singers .Elliot is rolled out as a girl in a well .Talk show host never ends up asking the guests any questions The Situation Room – .Parody (Situation room) (Wolf Blitzer) .Invective (pokes fun at the Wolf Blitzer and his show as being not intellectual and irresponsible news source) .pop culture . .Inappropriate language and photos .Social commentary (news organizations) (new technology) .Knowledge of The Situation Room .Yes .New reporters appear old.Reporting on news at universities . out of dare and uninformed Sedekis Wigg Hader Galifina.Galinakis plays two flutes at once .The Situation Room continues to report on news from the universities that are sent in from the universities.Sexual jokes .Armisen plays the sax . Everything they report is very unprofessional and inappropriate.Incongruity Theory .Wordplay (Tweets are read out loud) (Sexual references) .117 .Galifinakis with Cast and Band 117 .

nbc. Josh.1 (2006): 4-25.6 (2009): 783-809.html>. Wojcieszak. Nancy D. 19 May 2010. Link.2 (2006): 143-51." Media Psychology 6." Journal of Pragmatics 41. L. News. Lynette.NYTimes. 05 Oct.118 Works Cited Baek. Web. Web." The New York Times ." Journal of Language and Social Psychology 27.NBC Official Site. <http://www. J.>. Kotthoff. "Serious as a Heart Attack: Health-Related Content of Late-Night Comedy Saturday Night Live. "Developing a Typology of Humor in Audiovisual Media. Helga. and P. Bell.4 (2002): 423-45. "Gender and Humor: The State of the Art.9 (2009): 1825-36. O. 19 May 2010." Communication Theory 12.. "Humorous Communication: Finding a Place for Humor in Communication Research." Health communication 19. Holloway.2 (2004): 147-67. 1992. M." TV Network for Primetime. Young Min. 118 . "Don't Expect Too Much! Learning from Late-Night Comedy and Knowledge Item Difficulty. <http://www. "Responses to Failed Humor. and Magdalena E. Kreuz. Buijzen. Lynch." Communication Research 36. Valkenburg." Journal of Pragmatics 38. Dress. "CHRONICLE . M.1 (2008): 71-85. Daytime and Late Night Television Shows . World News & Multimedia. "Regional Variation in the use of H. R. and K. E..nytimes. "NBC.

tv/eotvsection." The Museum of Broadcast Communications." Journal of Advertising 26. Show Info and TV Listings Guide. "The Rhetoric of Humor. 1991." Wadsworth Company. <http://www. Pekurny. Web. L. and Richard M.jt. .3 (1994): (1980): 91-9. <http://snltranscripts. "Assessing the use and Impact of Humor on Advertising Effectiveness: A Contingency Approach. <http://www.html>.html>. "The House that Black Built: Television Stand-Up Comedy as Minor Discourse. N. Web.” Saturday Night Live Transcripts. "Psychographics of Radio and Television Audiences. Parsons. E.Breaking News.. Web.php?entrycode=saturdaynight>. "The Museum of Broadcast Communications. "SNL Transcripts." Journal of Popular Film & Television 22. Spotts. Weinberger. ""Saturday Night Live" and Weekend Update: The Formative Years of Comedy News Dissemination. Schulman. World News & Multimedia. and A.nytimes. William O.4 (2006): 190-7. Durand.Free Full Episodes & Clips." Journal of Advertising Research 19. 19 May 2010. Print.2 (1979): 53-6. 119 ." The New York Times . "The New York Times Log In. Web. 19 May 2010. Rybacki..phtml>." TV. Jesse E.3 (1997): H. 19 May 2010. "The Production Process and Environment of NBC's "Saturday Night Live". Reincheld. "Saturday Night Live on TV." Journalism History 31. 19 May 2010. <" Journal of Broadcasting 24. M. R.

19 May>. 120 . <http://www.120 Welcome to Broadway Video. Web.broadwayvideo.