Not that I don’t have a sense of humor about the city I’ve called home for 15 years, but Saturday Night Live’s rip of Scranton on Saturday night was stupid.
I always laugh when I hear or tell the joke that I first heard Monsignor Joseph Quinn tell, the one about how if the end of the world ever arrives, you want to be in Scranton because everything happens here 20 years later. I cringe when I hear someone around here — and it still happens too often — say something racially or ethnically insensitive. I get how people can get down on Scranton. I’m not the Chamber of Commerce.
It doesn’t bother me that people poke fun at the Electrical City, as Gov. Ed Rendell called it during his Democratic National Convention speech. People poke fun all the time, but it’s funny because there’s usually a kernel of truth in the poking.
The Saturday Night Live skit went way over the top. If you didn’t see it, it focused on the vice presidential debate and included Jason Sudeikis, as Joe Biden, making fun of Biden’s Scranton roots.
Sudeikis/Biden calls Scranton a “hellhole” and “an absolute jerk water of a town.”
“You couldn’t stand to spend a weekend there,” It’s just an awful, awful, sad place, filled with sad desperate people with no ambition. Nobody, and I mean nobody, but me has ever come out of that place. It’s a genetic cesspool. So don’t be telling me that I’m part of the Washington elite because I come from the absolute worst place on earth, Scranton, Pa. And Wilmington, Del., is not much better.”
That just doesn’t ring true, even if you’re not from here. For one thing, NBC has a hit TV show based in Scranton. Biden is hardly the only guy from here who gained fame elsewhere. Hey, at NBC, the executive producer of The Today Show, James Bell, is from Scranton.
That’s our problem. We keep shipping our talent elsewhere instead of giving it a reason to stay here.
It would have been funnier to poke fun at how Biden always fawns over his Scranton roots.
That was SNL’s biggest sin. The Scranton bit wasn’t funny. If you’re going to make fun of us, you’ve got to be funny.
We love to laugh at ourselves. Been doing it a long time. Had to.
— Borys Krawczeniuk