Opinion | Please Don’t Destroy rescues ‘SNL’ from irrelevancy

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Photo Courtesy of Please Don't Destroy Instagram

Internet sensations Ben Marshall, John Higgins and Martin Herlihy are shown above as part of “Saturday Night Live’s” new comedy team called Please Don’t Destroy. Columnist Caroline Tadla believes that the teams skits are saving “SNL” was irrelevancy.

By Caroline Tadla, Columnist

Hiring comedy trio Please Don’t Destroy is “Saturday Night Live’s” smartest decision yet. This offbeat group is comprised of internet sensations Ben Marshall, John Higgins and Martin Herlihy. Before joining “SNL,” the three have occasionally performed live shows and developed film and TV projects for Comedy Central, Universal, Sony and more.

However, most people are familiar with their work on social media platforms like TikTok, Twitter and YouTube, creating quirky skits such as “guy who thinks he went to college with SpongeBob” and “jazz friday.”

As a lifelong “SNL” fan, I sincerely apologize to Lorne Michaels for what must be said (please don’t withhold any potential job offerings due to it): “SNL” is aging like milk in the sun.

According to Statista, “Adults between the ages of 30 and 44 were the most frequent viewers of Saturday Night Live.” The show’s inability to appeal to younger audiences is no laughing matter. Still, this isn’t due to a lack of trying. “SNL” has made several out-of-touch attempts to capture young eyes — desperately clinging onto cast member Pete Davidson to remain relevant. Yet, Davidson’s sickly look is a cry for help as the show drains him of his youth. 

However, the problem for Gen Z isn’t the cast or content, it’s the timing. As a generation who grew up on extremely short-form comedy such as the content on Vine and TikTok, the thought of sitting through a 3-minute skit is excruciating.

But Please Don’t Destroy is its saving grace, providing a much-needed youthful glow. By hiring comedians who specialize in social media short-form and allowing the show to integrate such techniques into skits, “SNL” has cracked the code to acquiring Gen Z’s fleeting attention.

This isn’t the only time “SNL” has looked online for new cast members, previously the show took in The Lonely Island featuring Andy Sandberg and Good Neighbor with Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett. But these groups are outdated and already have had their time to shine.

Internet comedy’s culture is unkind to the traditionalist and changes exponentially. Please Don’t Destroy’s skits incorporate the aggressive cuts, intrusive editing, intellectual absurdity and immediate and continuous punchlines that are essential in new-age comedy.

The trio and “SNL” are a perfect pair with successful skits like “Hard Seltzer,” “Three Sad Virgins,” “Touch Up” and are sure to have several more hilarious hits on the way.

Caroline is a freshman in Media.

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