Comedy is meant to evolve. Definitely things that were once cutting edge won’t be the same now. In addition to that, things that people were okay to joke about won’t hold true today as a section of the society or community can get offended for obvious reasons. We witnessed this on Saturday Night Live in 2020 as Jimmy Fallon was pulling off this incredible stunt or shall we say certain impression.
Fallon donned blackface in order to play former “SNL” cast member Chris Rock in a 2000 sketch. Over Memorial Day weekend in 2020, these images that were taken back in the days suddenly began circulating with the hashtag #jimmyfallonisoverparty, according to Deadline. In response to these allegations, Fallon took to Twitter to explain his followers that a terrible decision had been undertaken on his behalf to impersonate Chris Rock while in blackface in 2000, while on SNL.
He immediately apologized for his mistake to his fans. In fact, he made even a larger apology than this on his own show The Tonight Show. You would be thinking, something that had been funny 20 years ago, is not funny any more to the audience of this era. In fact, a comedian who tried to make people laugh with the impersonation has been criticized for doing the same. What must have possibly changed from then to now.
According to Humor theorist Peter McGraw, it was nothing but American norms surrounding blackface that changed in the 20 years between the SNL sketch and Fallon’s apology regarding the same.