Lin-Manuel Miranda’s SNL Monologue Is the Palate Cleanser You Need From the US Election Nightmare
Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame guested on Saturday Night Live last night, and of course, the opening monologue is as political (and as musical) as Hamilton. Miranda kicked off the monologue by saying he wasn’t going to perform a Hamilton song, but then he toootally performed a Hamilton song. Specifically, he does a rewritten version of “My Shot,” this time about our current political climate, the fact that Donald Trump once guested on SNL, and Miranda’s own lifelong fandom for SNL past and present.
The new lyrics are fun as heck, but my favorite part was the joke that he told right before he starts rapping: “If you get to New York, please see Hamilton. It’s such a nice escape from all the craziness in our world right now. It’s about two famous New York politicians locked in a dirty, ugly, mud-slinging political campaign. Escapism!”
With the next presidential debate coming up tonight, and the “Trump Tapes” scandal still trending in the news cycle, it’s pretty hard to avoid the terrifying ugliness of the US presidential campaign–particularly if you live here in the States. I can only imagine that all the rest of your social media and news feeds are stacked to the gills with election arguments and news items as well, and if you’re like me, then you really just want a break from it all.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s delightful opening monologue feels like a victorious palate cleanser in comparison; it’s political, sure, but it’s also joyful and earnest and genuine, as all of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work tends to be. There’s no jaded sarcasm or “nothing really matters, let it all burn” attitude, here. Instead, there’s a sense of genuinely caring about the art that we experience, the commentary that we make about the world around us, and the importance of highlighting a plurality of life experiences. Oh, and comedy and music matters, too!
About those debates tonight? If you don’t want to watch them, I’ve got that old list of suggestions for what you could do instead, and it’s all still applicable. Whatever you decide to do, try to keep your chin up. It’s been a real tough week, even by the low standards we’ve been experiencing lately.
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