I watched SNL last weekend, and Leslie Jones was the only thing people were still talking about on Monday. Unfortunately a lot of what was said was not positive. This is not the entire skit, but it’s a good bit of it, and it’s the part people are talking about. Go ahead, watch it. … but maybe not with kids around… i’ll wait. Better yet, see if you can find the ENTIRE skit, because you really need the full experience. ( I couldn’t find the entire thing anywhere, which is a shame)
I thought she was hysterical. HYSTERical. My husband and I were laughing our asses off. She began the entire thing with Lupita Nyong’o making the People Magazine cover as one of the 50 most beautiful people. She went on to compare herself and joke about how a beautiful person is great, but a useful person might be more appealing in certain circumstances.
I am a big ass white lady who is a stay at home mom. I am not African American. I am not black. I’m just me, someone who appreciates humor and tries to use it in every day life so as not to go mental when dealing with the hard stuff. I thought Leslie Jones’ skit was so refreshing for SNL, and so goddamned funny, I just couldn’t believe it. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor to laugh properly, and this is the mark of a person who is truly laugh-my-ass-off- Funny to me.
Was it controversial? Apparently so. Was it avant-garde? Thankfully, yes!!
I was sad to hear about the “backlash” she’s facing because of her bit. Here’s my take on it: If you do not appreciate humor or comedy, you are not going to like this. If you are a buttoned-up person who keeps their head down and feels comedy is not something useful or skillful, you are not going to like this. If you are serious and cerebral, you don’t watch SNL anyway, so move along.
Next; She had the audacity to use slavery as part of her routine.
I’m sorry, is this a first? I do not believe it is. I’m pretty sure other comics have used slavery as some form of background or possibly even punch line of their routines. Black comics, even! And as Ms. Jones has pointed out herself, if it were Chris Rock or Dave Chapelle, no one would think twice. Because she’s a woman saying it, it’s suddenly disgusting and shameful.
I feel even if she were a female comic who looked like Lupita Nyong’o saying these things, she would not have gotten as much uproar as she did. It’s a shame, really. Regardless of the person it’s coming from, if it’s funny, it stands on it’s own. Once you have to explain the joke, it’s irrelevant. You didn’t ‘get it’? Move on, it’s not the comic’s job to break it down for you.
This skit has brought up such a debate and discussion about racism and what is acceptable and not here in this country. My husband and I even had a conversation about this after seeing her bit. How could you not? Our take on it, however, was #1: hopefully she keeps her job, and maybe even get more face time, and #2: How do I feel about the race thing?
Here’s how I feel; We are all different. People are different. That’s where things should be OK to begin with. If you cannot agree on the fact that everyone has differences, then you are delusional. Regardless of race, each person has different qualities, shades, shapes, and that is where observations begin. Given this, we should all be treated and respected equally because we are all human beings. When I see a black person, do I notice their skin color? Yes. I also notice their height, their smile, their ability to laugh at my jokes. Just like I notice about another white person I talk to, or an Asian person i’m interacting with. I also notice things that are similar. How do you walk around and just see everything as “same”?! How boring!!
I have never understood why it’s not ok to notice and speak about the differences. Aren’t we supposed to be embracing our own unique qualities? Don’t we preach to our kids repeatedly that their own special qualities make them unique and special? …. so where is the delineation? If it’s unique to you, then you have noticed that it’s something unlike someone else. It isn’t a negative thing.
I feel like starting with the differences and appreciating them is where to begin. When someone meets me, i’m hard pressed to not believe they don’t notice my height or my size. I’m big. That’s just me. If they were to describe me to another person, what would they say? “She’s White. She’s a white lady with a couple of kids.” ? I’m not offended if you happen to notice that i have brown eyes and i’m overweight. Newsflash: I know what I look like because the mirror tells me this fact each morning…. damnit. 🙂
I appreciate the differences in the people I have relationships with. I love my British friends’ accents. I think it’s cool. I like hearing the perspective of my black friends because it’s a perspective I do not have. I also notice that my short friends have an easier time doing some things – closer to the ground to pick up all the kid toys – and a harder time doing others – can’t reach the top shelf at the grocery store? I can help!
I do not want to write a novel, so I’ll sum up the rest of my feelings regarding the comedy routine in a list:
A list of why I don’t think this was racist AND why I thought it was funny:
1. She did not put up a picture of a female slave and comment on her breeding potential
2. She did not hold up a picture of a male slave and claim to want to copulate with him.
3. If you didn’t think she was funny, move on. Do not assign blame on the joke or the foundation of the skit. YOU didn’t get it. SHE delivered it perfectly.
4. Not everyone is going to appreciate all comedy. If you are uncomfortable with racially charged observations or aggressive comics, you aren’t going to like this bit. It’s ok. Really. I wont judge you for not finding it funny…. well, maybe i will a little.
5. I find it funny that conservative groups are having an issue with Leslie Jones. Stick with Lewis Black or Bill Maher. I would not expect a working mother who is a lawyer to understand my humor, nor would I understand yours. I can appreciate the differences in both, however, and not take offense if you don’t like my style.
6. I love when comics can push the limits and make people talk and think beyond the joke or the show. When they are women, it makes me love them even more!
7. Going with the unsure and possibly unpopular joke is a risk, and I commend this woman for risking it. To me, it was worth it and as a result, i will seek out her info and follow what she does from here on out.
8. I hope to God Kevin Hart goes on tour with Leslie Jones. Oh, the material!
Lastly, I find it interesting that someone who is authentic to herself and finds success in that is sometimes unappreciated. This comedienne is on the chopping block for going with what she thought was funny based on her own material and talent. I find Justin Bieber’s actions far more offensive and inappropriate. I think Miley Cyrus has done far more disrespectful things and both of these people are held up and simply critiqued and giggled about. Neither of them have an authentic bone in their carbon copy bodies! People need to get their priorities in order. Stop nailing comic’s asses to the wall for simply not agreeing with their humor or getting their jokes. I’m sick of the forced apologies and “outrage” over entertainment. Let’s be outraged about hundreds of girls being kidnapped and sold. Let’s be “outraged” at the growing rate of diabetes and obesity in our country. .. you know… something bigger than a punchline.