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Saturday Night Live’s Joke About Biden’s Black Support Falls Flat With Audience

Michael Che looked like he was taken aback at the audience's lukewarm response, remarking at one point that he thought they should read the polls.

Saturday Night Live attempted to make a joke about the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, tying the disintegrated bridge to the disintegrating support of President Joe Biden from the Black community. However, the audience did not respond to the joke as comedian Michael Che had expected. 

Che looked like he was taken aback at the audience’s lukewarm response, remarking at one point that he thought they should read the polls. 

Conservatives and outlets like Fox News seemed to take pleasure in the segment, with Fox News’s headline declaring that SNL torched Biden with the joke, which, notably, was not well-received by the studio audience. By contrast, other jokes in the Weekend Update segment targeting his opposition, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, and troubled aviation company Boeing seemed to draw raucous laughter and applause.

By comparison, comedian Ramy Youssef’s opening monologue, where he joked that his prayers are complicated before calling for freedom for the people of Palestine, received a full ten seconds of loud applause and cheers, a signal of how deeply unpopular Biden’s support of Israel is. 

In a conversation with Vox’s Noel King on an episode of the outlet’s Today Explained podcast, Charlamagne tha God pushed back on the idea that Black voters are the only group Biden struggles with, telling King, “When you look at Joe Biden’s approval ratings, he’s getting his ass kicked everywhere. It’s not just Black people. So I think that in order to really get that campaign on the right track, they’ve got to start looking at the totality of what’s happening with that campaign and how different groups of people feel about him.”

Charlamagne also took the time to explain what he believes a Trump re-election could mean.

“You’ve got some pretty good examples of what [Trump is] capable of. January 6, 2021, was a pretty cut-and-dry situation. That was an attempted coup in this country. And then you also have a man who doesn’t believe in the Constitution. Like when you say you should suspend the Constitution, to overthrow the results of an election. You have his lawyer saying he didn’t sign up to say he was gonna support the Constitution. That kind of tells you where we’re going.”

Angela Rye, who was also part of the conversation, said that in her belief, placing the burden of saving Democracy on the backs of Black voters was an unfair thing to assign Black people. “But I think that it is one of those things where we end up talking about this, and then Black voters are to blame in November if that’s what ends up happening. So I don’t think that that’s fair. We’ve carried this country long enough.”

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