As soon as Chris Rock started off with the Boston Marathon tragedy, the 911 terrorist attack, and that he would never go inside the Freedom Tower in New York, I said…”Oh no, he didn’t!” That is Comedy suicide 101 on the biggest weekly comedy scene in the world. “Come on Chris, don’t become the black sheep of show business! Why, why, whyyyyyyyyyy… did you do it, Chris?”
I know black comedians enjoy doing fearless racial comedy, but isn’t this taking fearless comedy a bit too far? Man, that’s when Chris and the SNL writers turned on their genius and bedazzled us.
You see America loves Jesus just a teeny little more than we do America. And Chris made us realize that we CAN laugh about pretty much anything. It’s true many of us, who are still christian (unlike me, I’m a fervent atheist), religiously observe Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah for what they are (Jesus’ birth, Jesus’ killing, the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BCE…). But both the religious crowds and the rest of us still find a way to live on, be happy, and enjoy ourselves on those rather sacred days…exchanging gifts and sending our kids out on Easter egg hunts.
I think more than anything the fact that we can joke about it takes the sting out of the terrorists’ venom, and drives them nuts. It actually makes them realize that no matter what they do to us we will still stay strong, happy, humorous and so fucking free. I actually felt smarter watching that skit. I had never thought about it that way. I don’t know any comedians who’ve ever tried something like that.
I should say the other skits last night weren’t that creatively strong though because they made it feel like …you know, it’s Black history month so “Hey, let’s just recycle some of the old jokes” and get this shit done. Not too much creativity there.
But for daring and nailing the opening monologue about the terrorist attacks, Hats off SNL!