Earlier this week, I told my editors I was going to stop writing this piece. I started writing SNL Scorecard in 2010 as a labor of love. I gave up significant time on my weekends to do this because I legitimately loved writing about this show. I don’t really feel that way about SNL right now. I do honestly believe that SNL was the first mainstream piece of entertainment that normalized Donald Trump’s message by letting him host. I don’t know if I will ever get over that. And now that Trump has won, this is something that will always haunt SNL. The people who booked Trump on the show didn’t take him seriously, and now here we are.
My editors thought I should continue, even though they told me they’d support me if I decided to stop. But I decided to continue for now. I decided to continue because making some “grand stand” of quitting doesn’t do anyone any good. It’s the equivalent of these “If you voted for Trump, unfriend me on Facebook” type declarations. What does that solve? Sure, it blows off steam, but it doesn’t do anything.
At dress rehearsal during Benedict Cumberbatch’s show, during the cold open, Kate McKinnon broke down crying during the “we can’t tell you who to vote for” part. (This did not happen on the live show.) This is not an easy time for the writers and cast members who had nothing to do with the decision to let Trump host. And in speaking to sources close to the situation, the week Trump hosted sounded pretty miserable. The cast and writers certainly weren’t proud this was happening, they were all very aware of the protests happening outside the building – and, to top it off, Trump was a disinterested host who wasn’t happy he had to actually read lines. (Which, frankly, should surprise no one.)
And stopping this piece, for this reason, feels more like a “screw you” to the cast and writers, who are still trying their best every week (which is evidenced by Kate McKinnon’s cold open last night), than it would the people who actually made that decision to let Trump host.
So, like them, I will still try my best every week. (Though not next week because I’m out of town for a wedding, so don’t read into that.) And, last night, Dave Chappelle hosted a really great show. So let’s at least try to get on with another Scorecard: