Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels was recently the celeb royalty featured on Jerry Seinfeld’s car show, in an episode entitled: “Everybody likes to see the monkeys.” Now I wish I hadn’t bothered to tune in because now I have to respond.
The corporate overlord sensibility is prevalent, dripping from every annoyed grunt Michaels offers the inconsequential rabble. Instantly, I recalled how Tim Robbins and John Cusack had punched his number back in 1992. Michaels is a tool of social control, a buttress who defines what can be said to millions, and what cannot.
Michaels tipped his hand when Seinfeld challenged him on “alternative comics,” those “below 14th street” who don’t exist as far as SNL is concerned. The “alternative” is any alternative view to corporate whoredom, and Michaels sneers and scoffs his way through the idea that anyone but corporate-approved mindless, inconsequential distractions should matter.
Yes, he gleefully categorizes everyone and everything his show does as nothing more than monkeying around. And now we see the flaw in SNL as an institution. The boss believes in flinging poo and nothing beyond. He has no integrity on display, simply the desire to let the monkeys run amok for fun and profit. The world may burn to the ground elsewhere, but nothing relevant will appear in Lorne Michaels’ Monkey House. His show pretends to address issues, but it’s a pretense, a marketing strategy.
That’s why the show’s fakeness and vapidity are so entrenched and intractable. SNL cannot actually say anything meaningful; Michaels won’t allow it. It is not an “alternative,” to the rest of the corporate mainstream marketing propaganda but exists to reinforce it.
Even Michaels’ choice of restaurant reinforced his elite ruling-class view, escaping to where the coffees likely run $25 a cup, and no other diners were seen, or perhaps permitted. Michaels is a media mogul who decides for America what it can joke about each week, a propagandist, a puppeteer, a tool of social programming.
Anyone finding all this particularly unfunny?