“This year marks Saturday Night Live’s 40th year on the air, and we’re reflecting on its place in American comedy. Though Saturday Night Live has always served as a safe place for new and different ideas in comedy (and performance in general—when it started, it was a variety show), it hasn’t always been kind to its women. Though the cast has always contained female players, women were shut out of seriously iconic roles—we’re talking Land Shark, Wayne and Garth, Wild-and-Crazy-Guys iconic—for the first, like, two decades.
Still, SNL, like all comedy, exists to reflect the cultural climate, and as the public dialogue about women’s rights has gotten louder, there’s been a deluge of lady-centric content in the last decade or so—content that celebrates its female creatives in a way that goes well beyond “We have women in the cast, ergo, feminism.” Though it still has a ways to go, SNL at 40 is host to writers and performers who tackle feminist issues and crush long-held stereotypes—especially that one about women not being funny. In celebration of the show’s anniversary, we decided to take a look back at some of our favorite feminist moments from the show’s history. Here’s to 40 more years of hilarious women.
Read the full piece and see some classic skits here
“…the novelty of a female fly became the basis for the 1924 Al Christie comedy Hold Your Breath, starring Dorothy Devore. Devore’s gender was a means to promote and differentiate the film, as is made clear by the ad copy that billed her as "The Girl Who Outstunts Lloyd” and “A Harold Lloyd in Skirts.” Prerelease hype in the Los Angeles Times stated that ‘theater audiences have grown used to seeing a male star do daredevil stunts,’ but that Harold Lloyd now had a rival in 'this petite young actress, who climbs about on tall buildings, with all the courage, ease, and abandon of the bespectacled comedian.’“
Excerpt from The Thrill Makers: Celebrity, Masculinity, and Stunt Performance. Image scanned from Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture.
“A lotofthemedia (myself included) think Jessica Williams would make a fine replacement for Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show.” What none of us knew, until the fine folks at Uproxx uncovered it, is that “Hot Tub Time Machine 2″ (the sequel to “Hot Tub Time Machine”) represents her as “The Daily Show” host in 2025. And in this case I think life should imitate art (or pop-culture) and make this a reality.
The rest of 2025 looks pretty awesome, as well: Neil Patrick Harris is president and Jennifer Lawrence is starring in a Meryl Streep biopic.”