The ratings for Saturday Night Live this season are the strongest they’ve been in a few years. And while the upcoming US presidential election probably has a lot to do with that, it would be unfair not to attribute some of that success to the show’s two new head writers, Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider. Chris is SNL’s first openly gay head writer. Sarah is SNL’s first female head writer since 2008. When it was announced in the summer that Chris and Sarah would be taking over on Saturday nights, Vanity Fair predicted that it would be a “huge step away from toxic bro humour” and so far, that’s been true. Because the strongest performers on the show the last few years have been the female cast members and because Chris and Sarah have always been clear about the fact that “we like to write for women”. But that was obvious, even before they were promoted. If you watch regularly, you already knew their work before this season. The video sketches First Got Horny 2U, Do It On My Twin Bed, and my personal favourite, Back Home Ballers, all came from Chris and Sarah. Perhaps their most famous video? The Beygency. And of course there was last season’s amazing The Day Beyoncé Turned Black. Obviously Chris and Sarah are Beyoncé scholars, Chris in particular. If you haven’t already, read the way he talks about how she was at the SNL 40th anniversary. Also, he met her.
So, after this weekend, it’s wasn’t necessarily the Hillary Clinton/Donald Trump cold open that was making headlines and trending on Twitter but the two sketch videos from Chris and Sarah – one of them an homage to Beyoncé. Melanianade is a parody of Sorry. It is brilliant, because as a member of the Beyhive, Chris wouldn’t borrow from Beysus and make it weak. That said, what made me laugh the hardest was the sketch called …
I don’t even want to give away the name of it in case you haven’t seen it. I’ve seen it almost a dozen times now. The video is below. Aidy Bryant’s expression the first time the word comes up still kills me.
It’s become standard, almost a default reaction, to talk about Saturday Night Live like it’s sh-t these days. But Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider have given us reason to be very optimistic about the show under their direction. I find myself more and more excited every weekend.
Yours in gossip,