This past weekend, Chance The Rapper hosted Saturday Night Live. Opening the show is a parody of ESports coverage of the wildly popular League of Legends tournaments. Chance reprises his role as Lazlow Holmes, a reporter who gets thrown into covering things he has no clue about. Lazlow is confused about everything and has no interest in covering the tournament. The hosts pressed on, asking questions he refuses to answer.
He throws several shots across the bow of esports, commenting, “There are ten nerdy dudes sitting down at computers with headsets on, while 20,000 people scream like they were watching the Beatles. I did not know this was a thing.” He follows that line with even more snide comment that “I guess esports is what white and Asian kids have been doing while black kids were inventing hip hop.”
Chance The Rapper as Lazlow was snarky, confused, and just trying to power his way through something that left his character both vexed and perplexed.
As the clip spread around Twitter, many found the humor in it. However, many others were quick to criticize SNL and Chance himself for the skit.
Comedy is entirely subjective. No one is going to think everything is funny. Obviously, if you’re a fan of League of Legends or esports in general, you might take some umbrage with the jokes. That said, we all have to understand one crucial thing about comedy. Seriously, if you only get one thing out of this whole article, let it be this one thing:
Comedy, by its very nature, is offensive.
The point of comedy is to make light of everything. It is not the responsibility of the comedian to worry about your feelings, who you are, where you come from, or what you like/dislike. Naturally, some things are off-limits, like blatant racism or hate speech. Though, that’s not what’s going on in this skit. Every joke ever told is taking a jab at someone or something. The point of comedy is not necessarily to hurt anyone’s feelings but to teach us not to take everything so seriously, including ourselves.
If you feel a certain way because your favorite thing got made fun of by Chance The Rapper on SNL, it might be time to take a look inward. Was the show really making fun of you? Are you taking yourself too seriously at that moment? It’s all about perspective. Do you want to be offended, or find the humor in your fandom?
I’m a nerd. I like gaming, and I think competitive gaming is great, even if I don’t watch it religiously. Do I take offense to the skit? Not at all. Honestly, why should I? If the writers don’t understand why people like esports, that’s okay. At least they wrote some good jokes. I won’t tell you that you should like the skit or the jokes. What I will say to you is that it’s okay to laugh at yourself and the things you like. Also, if SNL is making fun of the thing you like, it means the thing you like is mainstream enough to be made fun of. That’s something to be proud of.
What did you think of Lazlow Holmes lost and confused at an esports tournament? Tell us about it in the comments!