Mission Statement

This blog will analyze what has made SNL so funny for over 30 years. From hosts and skits to live music, Saturday Night Live has been a dominant force in late night television and has impacted everyone from teens to adults.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Commercials

Every now and then SNL will include in its show a parody of a commercial. These may either be a real commercial from current television that they find funny (see "Shake Weight" commercial posted below) or their own creation which makes fun of a type of store (see "Marble Columns" commercial posted below). Both commercials are funny because of either the images they use or the accents; the same general type of humor in most SNL skits. Each, however, also satires part of American culture by pointing out funny aspects of it.

Shake Weight Commercial - SNL
Actual Shake Weight Commercial

The Shake Weight commercial from SNL mimics the As Seen On TV product of the actual shake weight. It is a arm toning device designed for women. SNL took the actual commercial, accentuated the somewhat sexually suggested action that the Shake Weight requires, and made their own commercial. Their commercial takes the original Shake Weight and essentially turns it into pornographic material by offering the Shake Weight commercial on loop for men to watch. The premise of their idea is that the actual Shake Weight infomercial is by itself sexual enough to be pornography. This idea is very funny and points out the ridiculousness of the commercial that actually aires on television. SNL here is representing the American people in its views on the commercial. In this way SNL is trying to reach American society by representing its ideas and opinions on other features of American culture. In this way, SNL can represent American humor because it itself is a part of the American society that makes up the humor.

SNL Mom Jeans
SNL Marble Columns

These two commercials do not mimic any actual commercial, but carry on the idea that SNL is making fun of a culture which it is a part of. The "Mom Jeans" commercial plays on the idea of and American society which promotes certain aspects in mothers and that each mother fits a certain mold. This plays off the idea of the American dream and of a homogenous middle class, and satires both in the commercial. The features of the jeans are what SNL uses to satire the culture; the elongated fly and high waisted/ unflattering nature of the jeans come together to form an overall hilarious (but somewhat true) picture. The "Marble Columns" commercial makes fun of the mom and pop type of store often owned by immigrant families. The stores often sell items which are intended for the middle class, as in this one Mike is selling marble columns so that you will seem rich. This commercial also satires the American dream in its making fun of people actually willing to buy these columns in order to seem wealthy, the end goal of the dream. SNL parodies the columns by putting them in ridiculous places throughout the commercial such as in a bathroom or along your driveway. All of these commercials show how Americans like to laugh at themselves and reflect on their culture and its sometimes flawed/humorous aspects.

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