In early December of 2014, SNL filmed a dress rehearsal for a skit called “Morning News” which poked fun at the events occurring in Furgeson.
In this skit, Kenan Thompson (Kip) and Cecily Strong (Jenny) play fictional co-anchors on a St. Louis morning news show, Rise And Smile. This episode of Rise And Smile takes places a couple of days after the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. After the statement from the Grand Jury was released, riots erupted throughout Ferguson and across the nation.
Kip began the show by asking Jenny how her weekend was to which she responded, “I spent it holding a fireplace poker protecting my property, so why don’t we skip the chit-chat and talk about some weekend events.” After her response, it was clear that Kip and Jenny wanted nothing more than to avoid talking about the Ferguson riots.
The rest of the news show was filled with tension and dry racial humor, such as the line to “only use the white of the egg,” stated by Chef Darryl (guest star James Franco) on his cooking segment.
After watching the skit a couple of times, one of Jenny’s first lines “I spent it holding a fireplace poker protecting my property”, is something that really stuck out to me. The quote exemplifies the fact that some people were scared of the Furgeson mobs destroying the city, showing that these protests had a very negative impact on citizens and the city itself. “Protesters” claimed that it was their “first amendment right” to protest and that they need to protest in order to preserve the memory of Michael Brown. While it is their right to peacefully protest, trying to burn a city to the ground is not. Police brutality won’t end if people create more violence.
What makes this skit even more interesting is that it is known as a “Cut For Time” skit. This means the producers of SNL were unable to place it in the live showing. Time was most likely not the only factor contributing to its removal from the live show.
If the skit had been placed in the live showing, the episode could’ve been one of the most controversial and popular episodes in SNL history.