Saturday Night Live cold open: The Derek Chauvin trial segment

Saturday Night Live reviewThis weekend marks the third straight Saturday Night Live episode in a row, and of course, we tend to define these shows a lot by their cold opens. This is what gets us hooked right away, and it’s nice to have that almost-instant conversation starter.

So what did the NBC show decide to do on this particular occasion? There were a number of assorted events over the past week, but none as obvious as what they choose to do last week with Matt Gaetz. Was it clear that the Derek Chauvin trial was by far the most notable event? Absolutely, but this is a subject that we weren’t sure SNL was going to take on right away.

Yet, they did just that with a mock news segment, one featuring a heated debate about the Chauvin trial and the different perceptions around it. The idea was to show how white people view progress for the Black community as opposed to how the Black community themselves witness it. It doesn’t exactly line up, especially when you have Alex Moffat’s character trying to speak for everyone — even though he was white. This character was the butt of the joke for his sheer cluelessness.

No doubt, this opening was topical, and they found a way to bring comedy to what was a very dark but important subject. So often in the media, we do have white news anchors and commentators offering their opinion on how Black Americans should view things like the course of a trial like this. Often, it leads to nothing but words, and promises of “progress” turn out to be nothing more than empty. Because the death of George Floyd happened over the summer, there have been fewer ways for SNL to comment on it. This was their most notable inclusion of the subject matter so far this season. Kudos to them for taking the risk.

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What did you think about this weekend’s Saturday Night Live cold open?

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