This is going to be an interesting stretch for Saturday Night Live. Usually, after a presidential election, the amount of political sketches decreases. But that’s obviously not the case here. I’ve noticed a trend over the last few shows: the political sketches have been strong, while the rest of the show has been fairly forgettable. (There are, of course, exceptions like the “Dunkin’ Donuts” sketch from the Casey Affleck show.)
But this has to weigh on the writers because it can’t not be weighing on them. Trump is everywhere. It’s all anyone wants to talk about. Even in my job, I’ve found myself thinking things like, “Why would anyone care about The Return of Xander Cage right now?” There’s still supposed to be some fun in writing about culture, but everything is so soaked in Trump right now, most of that fun isn’t there. Even writing about SNL has become a weekly column about Trump. It’s impossible for it not to be: Trump tweets about the show on a weekly basis. (As I’m writing this on Sunday morning, he has yet to tweet about SNL. I promise the only reason he’s not is because everyone expects him to, so he’s using every ounce of willpower to stop himself.)
My point of all this is I do wonder, long term, how this changes SNL. I’m starting to get the impression that this is just the way it’s going to be. I know it’s kind of changed the way the show works a bit already in the fact that the cold open is written later and later into the week because there’s so much news on a daily basis. And there’s probably enough material to do four Trump sketches every show.