Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


American Studies

First Advisor

Zoe Oxley




Politics, show


Saturday Night Live has delved into the realm of politics throughout its forty-one seasons as a means of generating humor through satirical and parodical representations of politicians. This thesis explores Saturday Night Live during election years in particular, when the show generates a great deal of its content from the surrounding political atmosphere to comment on the issues at hand in a way that most often contrasts the style of reporting done by traditional hard news programs. The increasing role of entertainment in news delivery sheds light on the blurred lines between news and entertainment news, and this thesis will explore these continuously fading lines. Saturday Night Live explores pertinent issues, through the use of humor, as a means of delivering a comical analysis of the political matters at hand, and, in doing so, the show reveals a potential to influence viewers and the hard news media world based on the critical commentary and interpretations it delivers.