Dear Trump* administration: please stop enabling these comics

SNL started the same year I began college. It’s practically medieval. It’s had some substantial ups, and lots of ghastly downs. Isn’t it about time it died? (no, please, don’t say the same of me yet). But then a collection of clowns take over the government and suddenly it’s inspired into absolute brilliance.

That’s just amazing. Sean Spicer is just a walking, talking target — he’s never going to recover what little reputation he had. And Betsy DeVos is such an airheaded jebusite, if I wasn’t hoping more that her nomination craters, I’d be looking forward to Kate McKinnon’s future roles playing her.

But please, don’t. As much as I like them and think they are wonderfully talented, I’d like to see McCarthy and McKinnon unemployed.


  1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    South Park creators have the opposite view, yet still ask Trump admin to “just stop”.

    South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have said they will refrain from “mocking everybody in government” in future episodes.
    The previous two seasons featured a character and situations inspired by Donald Trump, with Mr Garrison’s recent character arc directly modelled after the Celebrity Apprentice host’s ascent to the White House. But that’s likely to change.

    “It feels like it’s going to be more difficult,” Stone said in an interview with ABC News in Australia. Parker went on to add: “They’re already going out and doing the comedy. It’s not something you can make fun of.”

    — from The Guardian (emphasis added)

    Trevor Noah, Colbert, Seth Meyers, and Jon Stewart have all said that to say their job as satirists is now easier are sadly mistaken. It is harder to satirize satire.
    All the funny lines during the SNL skit were not jokes but direct quotes of Spicer. The only advantage is the venue which encourages laughing at it and not writing it down to criticize afterward.


    USA is AFU due to Trump cabal.

  2. johnrockoford says

    I’m old enough to remember the last few decades. And I’ve been trying to figure out how we got to this point, with a takeover of our government by neo-fascist liars and fantasists. Of course any valid historical analysis will find many causes and particular circumstances and context, etc. But, from what I remember, I have an actual date in mind: April 25th 2005,

    That’s when TIME magazine, the ultimate mainstream institutional media outlet, published a positive (!) cover story on Ann Coulter, one of the most despicable and incoherent right-wing pundits. Sure, FOX and right-wing radio had been around for a while, but I think that particular day is when, to my mind, our mainstream media started to accept toxic fascistic opinions as merely alternative ideological positions and worth listening to.

  3. antigone10 says

    It’s not funny.

    I left the rural areas of the country because of these bullies. These assholes who would gaslight you, hate you, and try to twist what you said. That ignored anything you said, who would get angry whenever they wanted and mock you if you got upset. I left, and I don’t let them into my life. And no, not everyone in the rural areas was like that, and not every person in the city is good at respecting boundaries. But if there’s someone who’s a boundary-pushing asshole here, I can a) generally expect to not being the only person pushing back and b) have other people to hang out with. The consequences are just not the same (for me, a relatively privileged person).

    But there’s no where to go when this is the president. It’s screaming on an international square it’s fine to be an asshole bully, because what are you going to do? You’re out of places to leave to.

  4. unclefrogy says

    It is kind of hard to laugh at these bits as they do not seem to be so satirical as they seem to be just nakedly revealing of the truth.

    There is no provision in the constitution for the president filing for bankruptcy so how will he do it? At what point will it become clear to everyone even his supporters that he is in fact bankrupt as president?

    uncle frogy

  5. peptron says

    The video is blocked in my country… But I live in America! I guess I’m not American enough.

  6. robro says

    slithey tove @ #1 — Satire about not doing satire of the political reality because it’s already satire. That’s meta. Of course, what TweeterDumb and his posse are doing is not satire, but surreal.

  7. Doubting Thomas says

    Jebusite? WTF, I love following you PZ, but how is this not some kind of discriminatory put down? I Googled it and all I can find is references to Canaanites and how the Jews committed genocide on them. Otherwise I agree with the airhead part.

  8. says

    Doubting Thomas:

    Jebusite? WTF,

    You can tuck that outrage away now. Jebus is slang for Jesus, thanks to The Simpsons: “I can’t be a missionary! I don’t even believe in Jebus!” Interesting how you missed that on a search, because it came up in the first 3 hits.

    Ms. DeVos is as air-headed and bright as Homer Simpson, and all she knows about education is that there should lots of Jesus (Jebus) in it.

  9. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    Doubting Thomas #7
    ‘Jebus’ is a deliberate misspelling of ‘Jesus’.
    Jebusite just a sarcastic way of saying ‘Christian’.
    PZ can’t be expected to know about biblical Jebusites because, as an atheist, if he opened a bible, he’d be struck by lightening.
    Right in the spleen.

  10. says

    Doubting Thomas #7, PZ is almost certainly using “jebusite” to mean a follower of “Jebus”, which itself is a reference to the Simpsons where it was used to replace “Jesus” in some story or other. Today this usage is essentially just silly internet atheist jargon.

    It is true and unfortunate that the word has a specific meaning in the Old Testament as well. This could certainly lead to misunderstandings in certain debates where one would then have to justify the usage of the term.

    In my opinion it would probably be better to drop the use of the word and that people just say/write plainly what they mean without throwing in confusing cultural references. For example, “Betsy DeVos is such an airheaded jesusfreak” would make the point nice and clearly.

  11. says

    Caine #8:

    Interesting how you missed that on a search, because it came up in the first 3 hits.

    Please consider this may well depend on which search engine you use, your language settings etc.

    I can certainly see how it would be possible to miss the Simpsons reference. And for someone unfamiliar with this particular usage of the word to be honestly puzzled by it.

  12. Doubting Thomas says

    Thanks for all the edification. Jebus I get. I just knew PZ couldn’t be guilty of such infamy as using a derogatory ethnic slur. Never really been a Simpsons fan, tho. Got a new word for my vocabulary.

  13. johnrockoford says

    @12: Please linky to Coulter? I enjoy to be utterly irritated.

    You will be irritated. It’s been more than a decade and I continue to be irritated.

    Here’s the cover:,16641,20050425,00.html
    Here’s the article (sorry, Free Republic link, the only one I could find):

    This is how the abnormal is normalized. It’s when the mainstream media decides that all is opinion, and all opinions hold exactly the same value. Creationism? Check. Climate change “skepticism”? Check. Fascism? Check. From Coulter to Yianopoulos.

    I was watching MSNBC earlier (sorry, mistake) and they had a Dem and a Rep discussing if conservative opinions are repressed on campuses because Yianopoulos was not allowed to spew hatred at Berkeley — you see, fascist and nazi rhetoric is now merely mainstream “conservative.” If I were a conservative, one of the mythical principled conservatives the press loves, I’d be up in arms because I was being lumped in with a fascist douche like Yianopoulos. Unfortunately, this is where we are. Fascists have been mainstreamed.

    BTW The writer of the Coulter abomination is still writing for TIME. It’s Dante who said that “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” I’d say there’s an even darker place which is reserved for those who use neutrality as an excuse to make acceptable the morally inexcusable.

  14. tbtabby says

    It may be harder to satirize Drumpf and his cronies, guys, but it’s also necessary. Mockery is one of the best weapons we’ve got against the fascists. Allow me to quote Mark Twain:

    “Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them–and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon–laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution–these can lift at a colossal humbug,–push it a little– crowd it a little–weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand.”

  15. Hairhead, Still Learning at 59 says

    Over the past few weeks, several posters have asked the question, non-rhetorically, “When did we get this way?”

    As an outsider, a Canadian who has been watching you for decades, I can name the first specific point at which I said, “If they let this go, everything’s going to go.”

    It was the early ’80’s. when the Reagan administration explicitly took out the “Fairness Doctrine” on broadcasting political speech — and the Dems barely raised a squeak. I had studied propaganda for over a decade, and I knew that eliminating the Fairness Doctrine would AUTOMATICALLY mean media dedicated to 24/7 hate — something which is HIGHLY effective at brainwashing a significant plurality of the population. I mean, eliminating “fairness”? The Rethugs couldn’t have been more obvious than if they’d tried to pass the “N**gers are Dumb, Oversexed, and Lazy Act”. But the Dems let it through and the rot, in my eyes, officially began

    Later on FOX News (24/7 hate, and highly effective) , Rupert Murdoch, and all the following effects.

    There were a few other points, such as when H.W. Bush said that, “Atheists are not real Americans”

    One recent, real-life example of 24/7 hate — the Rwandan massacres were preceded by over a year of 24/7 hate radio describing the targetted ethnic group as “cockroaches” who had to be “wiped out.”

    I wish you you people luck — you’ll need that. along with vigilance, hard-line resistance, and public truth-telling.

  16. says

    antigone @3

    *Appropriate gesture of support*

    Yeah, I got gaslit by my dad a lot. Had to risk a lot to get away from him and now it feels like the abusers have taken over and treating us all like the little kids they get to beat up from time to time to feel better about their shitty lives.

    And I’m also terrified by the thought of there being no more places to run from this when this is what controls the currently most powerful nation in the world.

  17. secondtofirstworld says

    I’ve recently watched a video on 5 shows in desperate need to be adapted to a national format, and unfortunately I can’t link it, as it’s only in Hungarian, but among those 5, one of them was Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, and this show.

    Actually the reason was never explored, why this show couldn’t see the light behind the Iron Curtain due to censorship, despite being as critical as the prime time cop dramas they bought, like Starksy and Hutch. Funnily enough, movies that featured cast members of SNL did get to us, without knowing what SNL is, movies of Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase. Even after the regime change, movies of newer cast members came, that of the Frat Pack. By the way, SNL has a daughter show in Korea, which is a huge success, and they’ve landed some hosts who never did the American one.

    This past one and the half decade, the most known comedians, who also play in big budget comedies came from SNL, Mad TV or the Daily Show. Stewart is also responsible for a feat that I haven’t seen anywhere else, a non-observing Jewish comedian riffing off with an Irish Catholic. It is a huge step, that SNL and the Daily Show has diverse minority members, so whatever downs it had, the world needs it badly.

    As for Spicer, his credibility was put into question by himself, when he retweeted a video made by Onion about him. The last case I remember happening was when two feuding Republicans went as far, the aides for one camp cited the Colbert Report as evidence how unreliable the other is.

  18. says

    @ Hairhead, #20:

    This is an aside, but the radio in Rwanda (Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, RTLM) was far less directly influential in the Rwandan genocide as it’s mostly presented. Scott Straus has shown the limited connection in a study, based on several observations:
    1. the radio didn’t cover the whole of Rwanda. While the genocide was nation-wide, RTLM’s broadcast range was not (Rwanda is a hilly country – as RTLM’s name suggests – and therefore not easily coverable).
    2. RTLM particularly didn’t broadcast in many rural areas, where most of the massacres took place.
    3. regional patterns of violence don’t match up with RTLM’s supposed broadcast range, and with the timing of the broadcasts (the ICTR media trial listed only ten instances where local massacres correlated with a broadcast from RTLM naming these specific places immediately before the massacre, which comprises a tiny, tiny fraction of the murders and massacres)
    4. During the “high-genocide” period, RTLM broadcast relatively few imflammatory calls to violence, and more often told listeners to assist the armed forces, fight the rebels, but spare civilians.
    5. Interviews with perpetrators offer little evidence that they acted upon RTLM’s calls for violence against Tutsis; more often, they tell of party officials arriving in a town/village and preparing and mobilising; they point to elites and the youth wing as the main organisers.

    This does not let the broadcasters off the hook; RTLM definitely played an indirect role; Straus concludes that “at a minimum reinforced violent-supportive ideas and catalysed some key agents of violence.”

    (I heartily recommend the article: Scott Straus, What Is the Relationship between Hate Radio and Violence? Rethinking Rwanda’s ‘Radio Machete’, in: Politics & Society 2007)

  19. says


    I must admit that I too was confused by this, putting the accent on the wrong syllable and so wondering if DeVos had been slaughtered by the Israelites. I’m glad we got that sorted out. :-)

  20. Derek Vandivere says


    I’d like to see McCarthy and McKinnon unemployed

    I assume you mean otherwise employed – or did you really not enjoy the new Ghostbusters?

  21. jrkrideau says

    And I’m also terrified by the thought of there being no more places to run from this when this is what controls the currently most powerful nation in the world.

    Lots of other countries around. Scary but not impossible. And most consider the present USA regime mad so applications for refugee status may be easy.

    It may sound weird but we are already getting refugees from the USA here in Canada. Not native born USA (as far as I know) but people who fear USA policy enough to flee.

  22. ck, the Irate Lump says

    jrkrideau wrote:

    It may sound weird but we are already getting refugees from the USA here in Canada. Not native born USA (as far as I know) but people who fear USA policy enough to flee.

    Yeah, it’s very unusual and it’s swamping the meager resources that have ever been allocated to handling asylum seekers at the U.S.-Canada border, and in many cases there are major question about what the law currently even allows. Worse still, we may have to send them back to the U.S. since the U.S. is currently designated a “safe” country by law. I hope we can do something for these folks, but it’s not looking good.

    Even more heartbreaking is that some have experienced serious injury while trudging through the frigid winter. Here’s one charity that is currently trying to help with this crisis that I’ve sent a few bucks to: Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council