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Fake commercials and political humor are two of the longest running tropes of Saturday Night Live, but the two actually don't mix together as often as you would think. Last night, Amy Schumer’s gig to host the late night sketch mashed the two together by tackling one of America’s most controversial issues: gun control. Check the commercial out for yourself below.
The commercial features a variety of average Americans living out their seemingly idyllic lives. Soft music and a gentle narration play as it is revealed that each scenario – such as a date, a birth, a party, or a boring office – features guns. The narrator explains that guns are there during our smallest or our biggest moments. Characters within the sketch go through the motions of these moments casually wielding guns in the oddest possible ways – even caressing each other with them – and no one seems to bat an eye. It all closes with a white screen stating “guns: we’re here to stay.” Worth noting is the fact that the ad opts not to exploit tragic shootings, or actual gun violence, but instead addresses the notion of firearms as well as the second amendment as a fundamental part of our existence.
It’s a sketch that will no doubt incite some incredibly polarizing opinions among viewers. Gun control has become a hot button issue over the last few years, with both sides vehemently supporting their cause. Some believe the root of the violence is mental illness, while others feel that guns themselves are the primary issue that needs to be addressed. Given the host, it makes perfect sense that SNL would opt to air such a shocking ad. Outside of her usual penchant for pushing the envelope, the advertisement has particular relevance to Schumer herself. In the wake of a shooting in a Lafayette movie theater during a showing of her film Trainwreck, the comedian has taken a hard stance against guns and vocally expressed her support for gun control. Events such as this have become increasingly common, with movie theaters themselves becoming frequent venues for tragedies to occur – such as the 2012 massacre during the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.
Regardless of your stance on the issue, there’s humor to be found in the absurdity of the sketch. At the end of the day, while it may stem from a dark issue facing this nation, it’s sketch comedy and deserves to be laughed at as such. Left or right, try to remember that while watching.