Our discussion today of systems and technology studies made me think of Saturday Night Live. Yes, that’s correct; the skit comedy show reminds me of research methods. I think that comedy, like research, is most interesting when it’s critiquing something either overtly or subtley. Like the short documentary we watched in class today, SNL skits often analyze human relationships and comment on inequalities. The skit about the IPhone 5 I have linked to is a very over-the-top example, but I think it illustrates my point, and is certainly an interesting and humorous examination of how certain social systems function and intersect with technology.
Another way that comedy sketches often resemble more traditional methods of research is how they’re written. I’ve been reading Tina Fey’s book “Bossypants” (2011) and Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me” (2012) and both authors/comedians describe how SNL skits are created. Basically, writers prepare sketches alone or in pairs based on a humorous idea they had, and then revise the sketches together. These creative processes reminded me of Knight’s concept of writing-as-thinking. I’d be really interested to see if other comedians employ this style of sketch writing! Cheers and enjoy the comedy,