For 40 years now, “Saturday Night Live” has been influencing and transforming the culture of American comedy.
Through the exposure that it gives to the young comedians performing the skits, “SNL” has produced a multitude of well-known stars.
Despite this apparent success in churning out talent, “Saturday Night Live” has incessantly been under fire and has periodically struggled in the ratings.
Throughout its now 40-year tenure on live television, many have criticized the edginess of its skits, and more recently, its quality.
Increasingly it seems that the older generation that once watched the show no longer relates to the type of comedy portrayed.
Additionally, the younger generation often finds their source of comedy in other places such as YouTube and Netflix, instead of live television shows.
“I have seen the show before, but I don’t watch it on a regular basis,” April Berry, junior, said. This sentiment is common among students her age.
“From what I’ve seen it’s pretty funny, but I wouldn’t really go out of my way to keep up with it,” Heather Smoker, junior, agreed.
“Well I’m normally busy on Saturday nights, so I don’t really think about watching a TV show at that time,” Deon Wade, junior, said.
“It’s a funny show I think, and I like a lot of the comedians that come from it, but I don’t really ever watch the show from beginning to end,” Wade said.
These students are representative of the teenage demographic these days, rarely interested in watching a show live on TV.
“I don’t even really think that it’s all that funny; it’s just okay. There are funnier shows,” Wade said, echoing the idea that “SNL’s” comedy style has faded out of popularity.
“I have heard that Adam Sandler came from ‘SNL’, and I really like a lot of his movies that he does,” Luke Riley, junior, said.
“I’ve seen clips and highlights from it, but I don’t think that I have ever watched an entire episode of it before,” Riley said.
Riley is familiar with “SNL”, but is not an avid viewer of the program.
“On YouTube there are some funny skits posted, so I like to watch those when one gets a lot of views,” Jacob Keller, sophomore, said.
He commented that his favorite among these famous skits on YouTube was “Threw It on the Ground” starring Andy Samberg.
While many teenagers acknowledge that the program has its good moments, it is rare now to find a young person who deliberately watches the show.
The evolution of entertainment may force “SNL” into making changes to save the historic program.