This is the golden month for political satire: The final weeks of an election ripple with possibilities.
And now some of that potential has been realized: “Saturday Night Live” is off to a strong start … and Seth Meyers (shown here) had a hilarious “Closer Look” special in prime time.
This should be the time when satire thrives, but you can’t be sure. In August of 2016 — amid snowboalling interest in the election — Comedy Central suddenly canceled Larry Wilmore’s late-night show. Four years later, it looked like COVID might mute all laughter.
Then people found a way. The satirists — Trevor Nosh, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Meyers, more — found ways to work almost alone. “Saturday Night Live” scheduled five straight new episodes, starting with some big laughs on Oct. 3. And Peacock (NBC’s new streaming service) hatched two shows — hosted by Wilmore and by Amber Ruffin — with new episodes each Friday.
That still left one void: Some election years, “SNL” has had primetime half-hours on Thursdays. This year — scrambling to simply get on the air — that would have been too big a stretch.
But Meyers — the former “SNL” anchorman and head writer — filled the void Oct. 8, with a brilliant half-hour. So far, that’s only listed as a one-shot special; let’s hope it will be back.