Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che compares Donald Trump’s 2020 U.S. presidential election loss to a prison scene in The Shawshank Redemption.
Saturday Night Live‘s Michael Che compared Donald Trump’s 2020 U.S. presidential election loss to a prison scene in The Shawshank Redemption. During the Weekend Update segment, the hosts discussed Joe Biden’s historic victory and how American liberals reacted. For Michael Che, Trump’s defeat was especially bittersweet.
The sixth episode of Saturday Night Live season 46 aired just hours after Biden earned the U.S. presidency. Host Dave Chapelle delivered a 16-minute monologue, in which he discussed partisan politics and the cultural pain that continues to affect so many Americans. The comedian also took aim at racists, and suggested that white people can learn important cultural lessons from Black people like himself. Overall, the Saturday Night Live episode has a much different comedic tone than the previous week’s Halloween show, which was full of sexually-charged comedy that didn’t land well for many viewers.
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In Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update segment, Che addressed Trump’s reported claim that he’ll have to be dragged from The White House “kicking and screaming.” Rather than delivering a traditional punch-line, though, the co-host lifted his drink and simply said “good.” Che also remarked that everything he’s been worried about “faded away” with Biden’s election win, comparing his current perspective with the beer-drinking scene from Frank Darabont’s 1994 classic The Shawshank Redemption. “They were still in prison,” Che says, “but for one day, everything just felt OK.”
In The Shawshank Redemption, convicted killers Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) and Red Redding (Morgan Freeman) are selected for a work program where they’re tarring roofs – considered a good job among the inmates. Despite the unpredictable temperament of prison guard Byron Hadley (Clancy Brown), Andy approaches him with some financial advice after overhearing a conversation about tax problems. In exchange, the former banker requests a round of cold beers for his pals, which will make the inmates feel like they’re free men again – if only briefly.
Che’s Saturday Night Live commentary captures the current feeling of relief for many Americans. Moving forward, the NBC sketch comedy series may continue to celebrate the liberal win through cold open skits featuring Jim Carrey as Joe Biden and Maya Rudolph as the Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. However the fact remains that Trump’s final months in the Oval Office could indeed be chaotic, at least when considering his public statements of the past week. Aside from Che’s political punchline, the spirit of The Shawshank Redemption nod feels entirely relevant to 2020, as many people continue to seek out temporary relief from the relentless stress of politics and the pandemic.
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