Open Mic

Funny or Wrong: 'SNL' Takes on Tiger

Hillary Atkin Posted December 8, 2009 at 6:26 AM

Just about when I got done chuckling about "Saturday Night Live's" opening sketch spoofing the Salahis continually interrupting a presidential speech to take even more photos of themselves, a mini controversy breaks out on the heels of a major scandal.

Seems that some people are offended by the sketch depicting Tiger Woods holding a series of news conferences, while his wife, Elin Nordegren, looks on (click here to see it). A caricature Wolf Blitzer on CNN keeps tossing back to the scene as Tiger, channeled by Keenan Thompson, gets continually hospitalized and increasingly more injured and ends up with a golf club around his head and holding up papers saying "I'm scared," "she is strong." and "help me." "SNL" host Blake Lively plays Nordegren.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is not laughing, and its executive director said the show made a mockery of abuse, and that she hopes "SNL" refrains from using this kind of skit in the future, because it diminishes people's support for victims of domestic violence. Um, probably not so much. 


Others have complained that the subject matter should have been off limits because that night's musical guest was Rihanna, who suffered severe physical abuse early this year at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown.

These viewpoints mirror a disturbing trend on television towards skewed political correctness and attempts at censorship. A recent case in point: the CBS "Early Show" digitizing the video of Adam Lambert kissing a male bandmate during his grantedly controversial AMA performance as if it was some kind of porn --while in the next moment running the 2003 girl-on-girl kiss between Madonna and Britney Spears.

While CBS may worry about offending its early morning audience, here’s a news flash: "SNL" is a late-night comedy show.

Does it need to be tasteful? Absolutely not. Does it strive to be funny? Of course. Should it tailor its humor so as not to potentially offend the night's musical guest? No. Are some people going to be rubbed the wrong way by its skits or impersonations? Sure. Those people are not "SNL’s" target audience.

For those watching or not, in all likelihood, no one is actually in favor of minimizing the tragedy of domestic violence--except those who perpetrate it. No sane person would find anything about physical abuse remotely amusing.

Instead of what some have interpreted as making fun of victims of domestic violence, the Tiger Woods sketch could be read as being about a man who had been caught cheating on his justifiably angry wife, and his lame attempts to make amends. And this was even before tabloid news broke of even more women who claimed to have had affairs with the mega-millionaire golfer. He’s in much hotter water now.

In addition to all the late-night ribbing, it’s easy to predict another hysterical "SNL" sketch as long as the Tiger Woods story is big news. The Salahis probably aren't going away for awhile, either.

Thanks, Lorne and cast. This season couldn't possibly top last year's biting campaign brilliance. But the laughs do keep on coming.