As a country, we have a number of places to look to for reactions after something like the past week’s heinous events in Charlottesville, Virginia. We can read stories; we can read commentary. We can watch the news. But in such a harsh political climate, comedy shows have become ever-so-involved in shaping the conversation had all week long at the office, on the basketball court, wherever. This week, not only did the usual suspects—Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, and Jimmy Kimmel—speak out, but even Jimmy Fallon (of the hair-tussling heard ’round the world) came down on the horrible display in Virginia and the president’s statement of false equivalency.
With this increased focus on the world and the terrible things happening in it, a special lite edition of our nation’s most watched satire vehicle, Saturday Night Live, has been birthed for the summer, as Weekend Update: Summer Edition has taken a spot on NBC’s Thursday schedule.
On last night’s show, Tina Fey, a graduate herself of the University of Virginia, appeared, appearing to coin the movement of ‘sheetcaking.’ The joke went that she would “yell into the cake,” rather than at the Nazis at a march.
Some around the internet don’t seem happy much with the Fey bit, citing the ‘internet warrior’ model of wanting to say something of importance, but sitting at home uninvolved instead. The problem, though, is that this is clearly being taken way too much at face value. Tina Fey is obviously not advocating that you buy a cake and dip a grilled cheese into it instead of protesting and making your voice into a force for positive change. Tina Fey is making a joke here, as she is typically wont to do.
It’s important to not lose sight of things here, I think. We have responsibilities as human beings—as decent human beings—to stand up to what’s wrong in the world, and be vocal about what’s wrong here. However, it’s also important to be able to have a laugh, and keep perspective. Tina Fey is not starting an actual grassroots movement to sit on your couch and eat a cake; Tina Fey is a comedian, and a darn funny one. Watch the clip for yourself: