Wild, N. M. (2015). Dumb vs. fake: Representations of Bush and Palin on Saturday night live and their effects on the journalistic public sphere. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 59(3), 494. Retrieved from http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1704390801?accountid=11107


This article discusses the Saturday Night Live sketch in which Tina Fey portrayed Sarah Palin shortly after John McCain announced Palin would be his running mate in the 2008 presidential election.  Dannagal Young, the author of this article, argues that this portrayal was influential (to some degree) in shaping Americans’ opinions of Palin.  Even though people did not solely base their ideas of Palin on how Fey presented her, they began to associate the two (who, in reality, were stark opposites politically) as one and the same.  While Young does not believe Saturday Night Live is responsible for the outcome of the 2008 election, he does believe that media is in many ways responsible for shaping people’s opinions.  This article is worth reading because its terminology is largely unbiased, and it draws a thought-provoking connection between people’s sources of entertainment and their actions, no matter how subtle this connection may seem.  For our project, it is valuable because it examines the way a popular late-night comedy show handled an election in which a female ran for president and vice president on opposing parties (a first in many fronts), and it also analyzes the public’s general reaction to this event as it was portrayed on SNL.



Miller, M. K., Peake, J. S., & Boulton, B. A. (2010). Testing the Saturday Night Live Hypothesis: Fairness and Bias in Newspaper Coverage of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Politics & Gender, 6(2), 169-198. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1743923X10000036


In this article, the authors examine the way Hillary Clinton was treated by the general media during the 2008 presidential campaign.  It explores the value of the questions Clinton was asked (which, she believed, tended to be either geared toward her comfort, or, if worth any political value, were more difficult questions than those asked of her opponent, Barack Obama).  In general, it measures the differences between the media’s attitudes toward her versus their attitudes toward Obama, and it argues that Clinton was, in fact, treated with great discrimination simply because of her sex.  While this particular article only vaguely references Saturday Night Live or any type of genre within our group’s realm of focus, its exploration into the media’s treatment of women in general is worth reading.  It cites sources and charts concerning the context in which women are discussed, and according to this data, women under the public spotlight are known more for their family life than their personal views.  The hard data within this article proves concrete evidence that women are treated unfairly by the media under certain circumstances.


Santa Ana, Otto. (2009). Did you call in Mexican? The Racial Politics of Jay Leno Immigrant Jokes. Language in Society, 38(1), 23-45. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047404508090027


Although this article explicitly discusses neither women nor Saturday Night Live, it does examine the treatment of minorities on late night comedy shows to a great extent.  In the midst of demonstrations and rallies supporting immigrant naturalization to America in 2006, Jay Leno used immigrants as the butt of a series of jokes on The Tonight Show.  The author of this article, Santa Ana, argues the idea that society is divided when it comes to perspectives on late-night comedy.  Some believe that nothing is off limits because no matter what the joke is about, somebody will be made fun of, but others demand that comedians should use basic judgement when making jokes, and if it demeans a person or group, then the joke should go untold.  In fact, when an off-color joke is told by a person as well-known and revered as Leno, the audience is more likely to let it slide and not even recognize that certain groups find it offensive.  I think this article is worth reading because it presents another side to the “it’s just a joke” argument.  It’s an important thing for everyone to keep in mind, even if it doesn’t really do a lot for our research purposes.


Summergrad, S. (2016). Can we talk?: A discussion of gender politics in the late-night comedy career of Joan Rivers (Order No. 10130835). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text. (1801956682). Retrieved from http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1801956682?accountid=11107


Here, Joan Rivers’ career as a comedian is explored in great detail.  Summergrad, the author, argues that Joan Rivers tends to be remembered by her plastic-surgeries-gone-wrong and her roles as a red-carpet host, but she is not known as much for being a comedian, whether as a guest host or the host of her own show.  This article examines writings which argue that men are generally funnier than women, women’s humor is domestic in type, and women’s humor is simply “noise.”  It presents the argument that these beliefs stem from the generations-old idea that women belong in the home, and overcoming this idea will take time.  However, the author writes, women do indeed have a role in comedy, and Joan Rivers is a prime example of this.  This particular article is worth reading because it examines the rise of women’s role in comedy beginning in the Lucille Ball era and spanning that time to the present day.  For our project, it provides insight into the public’s view of women in comedy, and delves into that idea being seen as a stigma.


Kolbert, E. (1993, Aug 22). Television: Why late-night TV is a man’s world. New York Times Retrieved from http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/429199461?accountid=11107


Published in the early 1990s (on my mother’s thirty-third birthday, ironically), this article examines the idea that late-night television is primarily hosted, viewed, and appreciated by men.  It argues that this pattern is not necessarily “anti-women,” it just happened to work this way.  Men showed greater interest in this field more than women did, and as a result, more men were hired to work as writers, producers, etc. for late night comedy.  The author argues that most humor in late-night comedy shows are self-defense driven, and he believes that this is a realm of humor used primarily by men, and was “learned in school by little boys trying to get by” (Kolbert).  Because this article supports a view point that is a little more pro-men and anti-equal rights than most others I’ve found so far, I think it is definitely worth reading and using.  It’s always beneficial to at least see the other side of an argument, and I believe this article presents a relatively civil version of that.


Mannis, Samantha. “Late-Night Comedy Evolves with New Generation of Viewers.”University Wire, Apr 28, 2014. ProQuest, http://prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1519246639?accountid=11107


This article examines the shift of late-night comedy as its viewership majority gradually changes from baby boomers to millennials.  Written during Jimmy Fallon’s early days as host of The Tonight Show, Mannis argues that bringing in a new host symbolizes a new era of late-night comedy, and this era will be more familiar and relatable to the current generation.  Although shows such as Saturday Night Live provide classic entertainment with older sketches that have been replayed again and again, that show is also finding a new voice as hosting in late-night comedy appears to be changing across the board.  According to this author, younger people will find late night comedy shows to be more and more relatable to them instead of something they think their parents might find funny.  This article is absolutely worth reading because it explores the changing ages and demographics of people who watch late night comedy shows, and points to the correlation that must exist between these shows and their audiences.  If people don’t find the shows funny and relatable, what makes them worth watching?