In a recent episode of Saturday Night Live, comedians Michael Che and Colin Jost engaged in their traditional December banter, sparking controversy with a series of jokes that some audience members found questionable. The duo, known for their edgy humor on the show's "Weekend Update" segment, pushed the boundaries of comedy, leading to mixed reactions online.
The segment included a joke by Che, targeting pop icon Beyoncé. Referring to a recent Instagram post by the singer, Che read from the script, "Last month Beyoncé posted a photo of herself in a chrome Versace dress and platinum blonde hair that many online described as ‘too white.'
” He added, with a laugh, “In fact, Beyoncé looked so white that I was finally attracted to her”. This joke, in particular, seemed to strike a nerve with the audience, with some labeling it as 'racist.'
Further controversy arose when Che introduced a guest as "Dr. Hattie Davis," an alleged poet, author, and activist from the show's third season 46 years ago. The audience was surprised when actress Scarlett Johansson appeared instead.
Continuing the scripted exchange, Jost made a joke about New York state's new law allowing alcohol in movie theaters, quipping, “Which is how I’m finally able to enjoy my wife’s little art movies”.
He playfully added, “I’m kidding, honey. I love all of your movies. And if you ask me, you’re an even better black widow than Coretta Scott King”.
Debate Over Humor Limits
These jokes have reignited discussions about the boundaries of humor, particularly in the context of race.
Che and Jost have previously navigated choppy waters for their racially charged humor, and this episode has only added to the debate. A user on X, formerly known as Twitter, expressed their disapproval, commenting, "Michael Che and Colin Jost couldn’t write decent material if their lives depended on it.
They write blatant racist jokes for Weekend Update and giggle while delivering them." This sentiment echoes a growing concern among viewers about the appropriateness of such humor in today's socio-political climate. As SNL continues to be a platform for satirical and often controversial comedy, the reactions to Che and Jost's jokes highlight the fine line comedians walk in their quest to entertain while remaining socially conscious. The episode serves as a reminder of the evolving standards of comedy and the diverse expectations of a global audience.