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My Column About a Conservative ‘Saturday Night Live’ Provoked Quite a Reaction

My Column About a Conservative ‘Saturday Night Live’ Provoked Quite a Reaction

Live from Omaha!

As someone who has worked in professional theater, I am bothered by the nearly monolithic liberal views presented by the entertainment industry. I also find it troubling that Saturday Night Live has become more of a political weapon for the left than a comedy show.

With these thoughts in mind, I recently wrote a new column for Townhall suggesting a conservative version of SNL featuring celebrity guest hosts like James Woods, Ann Coulter and Greg Gutfeld.

Here’s an excerpt:

If Conservatives Want To Win The Culture War, We Need Our Own ‘Saturday Night Live’

Andrew Breitbart once said politics is downstream from culture. It was true then and rings even truer now. Conservatives must confront the left in the arena of entertainment.

‘Saturday Night Live’ used to be a comedy show. Now it’s a political operation intended to help Democrats win elections and to assist the left in the culture war. Think back to the first episode of SNL after the 2016 election. There were countless things which could have been hilariously parodied in their cold open. Instead, we got a funereal musical dedication to Hillary’s failed campaign. Weeks later, cast members sang a rendition of ‘To Sir, With Love’ to Obama.

That’s not comedy or entertainment, it’s political activism.

I made specific suggestions for how to do it and one of my points was to set it in America’s heartland. I picked Omaha, Nebraska because it’s in the center of the country, although there are plenty of other cities which would work:

First, don’t try to hide what you’re doing. Bill the show as the red state alternative to Saturday Night Live and broadcast it on the same night at the same time. Be a direct competitor and follow SNL’s format with a regular cast, a celebrity host and a musical guest in front of a live studio audience.

Second, set it in America’s heartland. Omaha, Nebraska would be ideal. And give it a similar name and branding to SNL. Something along the lines of “Live from Omaha! It’s Another Saturday Night!” would work. If lawyers say that’s too close to SNL, get creative but make sure viewers know exactly what the show is intended to be.

I even offered some sketch ideas:

Tonight on CNN: Chris Cuomo Says the Darndest Things

A sketch featuring Sarah Palin playing Tina Fey upset about Hillary losing.

Mental health tips from Kathy Griffin and Jim Carrey

Bernie Sanders hosts a radio show where he can’t explain the historical failures of socialism to a single caller.

The reaction to this from people on the left has been fascinating and can be summed up as “Ha! Ha! What a dumb idea, please do it!”

It earned me my first mocking at Mediaite:

Writer Aidan McLaughlin:

Blogger Proposes TV Show From Hell: Right-Wing SNL, Starring James Woods, Ann Coulter, and More

The 2016 election of President Donald Trump, who ran on a culture-war platform, has centered country’s political focus on the gaping divide between the coastal entertainment industry and middle America.

But, fear not: a writer at conservative website Townhall has a solution, which he outlined in all its hellish detail in a column on Thursday.

MAKE SNL IN OMAHA!

Mike LaChance, the author who has also written for esteemed sewage rags Gateway Pundit and Breitbart, laid out his proposal: “If Conservatives Want To Win The Culture War, We Need Our Own ‘Saturday Night Live’,” he begins.

Gothamist linked my column with the headline: Extra, Extra: The United States Deserves A Conservative, Omaha-Based SNL Rip-Off

William Hughes of The AV Club wrote:

Live from Omaha, here’s a terrible pitch for a conservative Saturday Night Live

You can usually tell how out-of-touch a conservative comedy “fan” is by how much stock they put in the opinions and comedy choices of Saturday Night Live. (See, for instance, Donald Trump’s general obsession with the show.) Although the long-running NBC sketch series tends to skew left-of-center in its political swipes, its overwhelming instinct is a sort of mainstream populism; the show is far more likely to hit Trump as a blowhard idiot with bad hair, after all, than it is to dig into his misogyny, fascist impulses, or tacit support for racist ideologies. (Also, while the series remains successful enough, in both a ratings and a critical sense, it hasn’t felt like a driving force in the political conversation for years.)

So when a conservative writer suggests that Republicans need their own SNL—and especially when the sample sketch ideas for it are as amusingly weird as the ones put forward in this recent thinkpiece by Townhall columnist Mike LaChance—to counter the one currently on the air, our natural instinct is to say: “Yes, please! We would love for this weird monstrosity to arrive on our TVs.”

Even the Omaha World-Herald picked up the story. Micah Mertes wrote:

Have you heard the one about a conservative ‘SNL’ set in Omaha?

Mike LaChance, a blogger for the conservative news site Townhall.com, has an idea for a show.

He thinks that in order for conservatives to compete against liberals in the culture wars, someone should start a “red state alternative” to “Saturday Night Live.” His hypothetical show, he writes, should be set in “America’s heartland.”…

As opposed to “SNL,” which lambasted President Trump (played by Alec Baldwin) and his administration in its most-recent season, the LaChance envisioned conservative “SNL” would make fun of such liberal figures as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, as well as the media outlets CNN and MSNBC.

“The show doesn’t even have to be pro-Trump or pro-Republican,” LaChance wrote. “All it has to do is not be anti-Trump or anti-Republican.”

Unbeknownst to me, there is already a comedy show in Omaha called “Omaha Live!”

People who mocked my proposal really seemed to focus on my choice of Omaha but that was hardly the point of my column. The point is that SNL has become overly partisan and alienates what could be a much broader audience. A comedy show which takes advantage of this could do very well.

As Charles Krauthammer once wrote about the founding of FOX News:

I said some years ago that the genius of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes was to have discovered a niche market in American broadcasting — half the American people. The reason Fox News has thrived and grown is because it offers a vibrant and honest alternative to those who could not abide yet another day of the news delivered to them beneath layer after layer of often undisguised liberalism.

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Comments

I’m so old I remember when Saturday Night Live was actually funny.

    casualobserver in reply to TANSTAAFL. | June 9, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Me too. When they weren’t afraid to put on satire about Carter or Clinton, sometimes without mercy. And of course they would brutally parody Reagan and Bush – and Chevy Chase made good fun of Ford. Funny how that disappeared around 2008…..

    Olinser in reply to TANSTAAFL. | June 9, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve got a FEVER, and the only PRESCRIPTION is MORE COWBELL!!!!

My sketch for Bernie would focus on it always being the people in charge that were responsible for the failures of socialism and not the unfeasible economic premise itself.

But the writing for the show would be easy. Simply take the dems platform ideas and run with it. The only downside is that those outcomes often end up in unthinkable tragedy, like the virtue signalling white lesbians who drove off a cliff with their 6 adopted black children. It had all the makings of a joke until cray cray mommie hit the accelerator.

    inspectorudy in reply to MajorWood. | June 9, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    You are right about leftists ideas. All a show would have to do is a documentary on ANY large city in the US to show why their socialist’s ideas will ALWAYS fail. They run out of other people’s money and then taxes have to go up. Services begin to falter and then the exodus of high-income taxpayers begins. The schools fail and highways and bridges crumble. There is no living proof that communism or socialism will or has EVER worked.

I like the idea! I hope it has legs.

“Some sketch ideas”

Hey, Kenny Bania, ya want comedy gold? Take on that one topic which the left will never, ever touch. Islam and its ridiculous (and cruel) practices is a target-rich topic for humor; a mother lode of comedy. Satire and ridicule are time-proven methods of de-fanging the dangerous.

You only get flak when you are over the target. Liberals fear that this will happen. Perhaps when he leaves office in 2024, President Trump will found a new entertainment capital in Omaha. He has developed an addiction to trolling the press, elites, and glitterati. This would be the perfect venue for him to continue.

My current fantasy is a political commentary show with Norm MacDonald and Dennis Miller. What a field day of material they would have to work with. They could have “5 minutes with Maxine” every week.

To paraphrase an old routine: That Hillary Clinton, she’s uh some animal lover that Hillary is. Yeah, she’s a got two cats, three dogs, and a big ass that follows her everywhere (unintentional double entendre). Apologies to Norm and his take on Rikki Lake and her involvement with peta. Still amazed that SNL green-lit that comment.

I’m also old and SNL stopped being consistently funny before I got to high school

Conservatives manage to dominate talk radio. The liberals come and go, but never manage good national ratings, though some do fine locally in progressive cities. I can see no reason why a conservative SNL couldn’t be a big success if anyone were willing to go with it. Good writers and good talent are essential.
One potential problem: most conservatives I know do not like staying up late. Perhaps a conservative “Saturday Evening Live” would be better.

This is a good idea! I remember the first SNL doing a General Franco is still dead routine. The conservative version has a target rich environment for that: Fidel Castro leaps to mind.

    malclave in reply to Whitewall. | June 9, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    I think the first episode I ever watched had Hugh Hefner singing “Thank Heaven For Little Girls” while text scrolled up saying that they were letting him put his mouth where his money is.

    Do that today with people impersonating various progs…

FFS, we don’t need a TeeVee show with an extremely limited number of potential guest hosts that’s severely hobbled by cancerous political correctness with the entire Lefty lapdog MSM ready to pounce, crush and destroy.

We need an honest and sincere GOP. Or, at least a mostly honest and mostly sincere GOP. You know, actual due diligence, hard work, honest efforts and all that sort of olden days way back when old timey stuff.

Let’s not waste a lot of time and energy on self-indulgent whimsy and rank fantasy until we’ve actually truly started dealing with our reality and getting results first.

    Whitewall in reply to FlatFoot. | June 9, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Good points but we are in a multi front war and we need to fight on all fronts. PC is a major front and it needs to be attacked at regular intervals. Make the enemy spend time and resources when he realizes he is being attacked in multiple AOs.

Morning Sunshine | June 9, 2018 at 12:32 pm

They don’t do political, but Studio C out of BYU (and they leave out the LDS stuff) is pure comedy gold. Check them out! My family especially loves the shoulder angel/devil routines. I like the sketches mocking higher education.

DINORightMarie | June 9, 2018 at 12:48 pm

“Methinks they doth protest too much.”

Yeah. DO IT! Obviously can’t be Omaha…..maybe Las Vegas? Kansas City? Wichita?

Or maybe even right under their noses, in New York……maybe from upstate…..maybe even Cornell’s home, Ithaca! Haha! 😀

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | June 9, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Adam and Drew are making a killing.

Dennis Miller would, but he’s not that funny in his old age.

A conservative SNL is doomed to failure, for one very good reason.

Currently, SNL is almost entirely made up of parodies of conservative personages. A parody is supposed to have a certain amount of humor because it is a parody. and, that humor is derived from making a more or less normal, intelligent person look like a fool. It is funny because everyone known that the person being parodied is nowhere near as outrageous as he is being portrayed. However, it is nearly impossible to parody a liberal. How can you possibly make Nancy Pelosi, Maxine, Waters and Chuck Schumer look any more ridiculous than they are in real life? The same is true for almost every liberal activist in the country. So, a conservative SNL would be doomed to failure. But, we really do not need a conservative SNL.

If you really want to see the humorous side of liberals, simply tune in the Tucker Carlson Show weeknights on Fox. 60% of his show is simply showing liberals in their native habitat doing the incredibly funny things that they do, naturally.

    DDsModernLife in reply to Mac45. | June 10, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Mac, you got “down-dinged” a couple of times but I think you made some good points. You’re +1 from me!

Hmmm. So Leftoids think it’d be silly.

Well, since Leftoids are consistently wrong about everything, this would doubtless be a yuuuge success.

Of course it’s a low bar to clear. I recall SNL right from the beginning, but don’t remember ever thinking any of it was actually funny. (OK, Samurai Tailor wasn’t too bad. But that was only because Belushi was a natural at that tatty “hey look what the oni dragged in” look which made Toshiro Mifune such a hit with Western audiences in his chop-saki movies.)

Close The Fed | June 9, 2018 at 1:26 pm

I read LaChance’s original column. Excellent!

Agree; it doesn’t have to be pro-Trump as long as it isn’t anti-Trump and anti-American.

Making life nothing but politics is a bore, especially in humor.

Lord the material you have to work with it writes itself

LukeHandCool | June 9, 2018 at 3:03 pm

I’ve often said that conservatives don’t seem to support right-leaning entertainers nearly as much as the left does their own kind.

I think conservative sites should be posting Greg Gutfeld’s monologues every time he does one. Video is powerful. And Gutfeld’s monologues slice and dice the left up.

I like the idea, but start off with no-name actors. Gradually add in better known guest stars. Doesn’t have to be Omaha, but somewhere in Flyover Land. And put it on the web, primarily, just not Youtube. It could go viral!

DouglasJBender | June 9, 2018 at 5:27 pm

I’d like to see a skit explaining the back-hump Hillary’s been sporting lately. Show some video of her walking around in public with it, and then show her appearing to be wobbly, with her assistants looking anxious. Then, show a couple of them looking up into the sky, and waving. Then show a large hook slowly lowering, one of the assistants grabbing it, then hooking it onto Hillary’s hump, then signaling to the helicopter to take her away to Chelsea’s apartment, or some safe space, for treatment.

I wish they would. I had to abandon late night comedy 20 years ago because every other joke was about how I must be a toothless redneck hick screwing my sister in our double wide whilst fantasizing about nuking Mecca and goose-stepping over the skulls in my leather SS boots.

It got so bad that I had to give up comedy shows. I miss Letterman. They taught me to hate them.

DouglasJBender | June 9, 2018 at 5:49 pm

That could all happen in the background, while a group of 3-4 “journalists” on CNN or MSNBC are discussing amongst themselves the vast right-wing conspiracy that imagines Hillary has a hump and that something’s wrong with her.

harleycowboy | June 9, 2018 at 6:09 pm

I don’t see this going national as conservatives don’t run the networks which is a big problem. It could be picked up by local independent stations.

    clintack in reply to harleycowboy. | June 9, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    Why would it have to be on a television station?

    Stream it over the internet.

    If it’s good, people will watch it. If people watch it, advertising revenues will follow.

Don’t make it just conservative TV. Just make it non political comedy. There’s a hunger in the market for entertainment that isn’t politicized.

Bonus points, when the left attacks it, as they surely will do, they’ll be antagonizing moderates and non-Republicans too. People are so sick of that crap.

G. de La Hoya | June 11, 2018 at 9:53 am

No to Omaha. If plays in Peoria… 🙂

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