Remember back in the day when "Saturday Night Live" managed to talk about current events and make them funny? After a week that saw the lack of an indictment in the Eric Garner case right in New York, the show had to comment. And they did, with a dull sketch making fun of Al Sharpton'sinability to pronounce words right, and a fat joke. Come on, guys. Maybe the writers felt the situation was so tragic they couldn't joke about it? What a shame, then, that they cut this sketch, about a morning show based in St. Louis. Morning shows have long been fertile ground for "SNL" as sketch material — there's something about the manic cheerfulness of the hosts and the occasional inability to find something worth talking about that early in the day that lends itself well to sketches.
The sketch has a pretty basic concept: A pair of morning show hosts can barely make themselves go through with the motions of pretending to be cheerful in St. Louis right now, given the protests in Ferguson and elsewhere about the Michael Brown case. The two hosts, played by Cecily Strong and Kenan Thompson (much better here than in his vague impersonation of Sharpton), face an unfortunately named guest played by host James Franco, a regrettable mispronunciation of the band name The Black Keys and a traffic correspondent played by Leslie Jones who makes the right choice about which traffic to cover. Watch below.
Funny, right? If, as seems possible, the writers are trying hard to avoid taking sides on the whole situation, this sketch proves that it's still possible to make something funny out of it. In a season where the show's longtime political joke showcase, "Weekend Update," is struggling to find its footing with two new hosts, it would be good for the regular sketches to pick up some of the slack.