Being outdated is everyone’s worst nightmare. Current trends inexplicably dictate the entirety of how humanity functions, right down to the seemingly simple choices: what to wear, eat, speak, and socialize. Essentially, trends dictate how we understand ourselves and perceive the world around us. In this way, what is ‘current’ determines our very identities.
After all, Andy Warhol famously stated, “in the future, everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes.” He could not be more right—each one of us yearns to be relevant, which begs us to ask these questions: what actually is current? Who is current?
Over the past forty years, Saturday Night Live has been one of the most hilarious television shows, because Lorne Michaels brilliantly understands how to stay intelligently comical and hip in the fast-paced, fickle entertainment industry. Filmed in New York City, the show has become ingrained in our city’s psyche, marking milestones for the lives of millions. For us at VPM, we literally grew up alongside SNL, having been in business for over forty years ourselves.
“If you could bottle one thing, I bet it would be the feeling of when you’re a kid and still believe in everything—fantastical things like ghosts—everyone would pay for that. Once you lost it, you become jaded and cynical. I truly believe by the time you’re 25, you’re not current anymore,” says Joe Ryder, Sales Director.
Joe recalls right after 9/11, Michaels asked Paul Simon to perform his song The Boxer; even now, he associates the song with the tragic event any time he hears it, proving just how influential SNL continues to be. Notably, Michaels asked former Mayor Giuliani if it was okay to be funny, to which Giuliani responded: “why start now?”
When evaluating Michaels’ success, it becomes apparent how SNL keeps its dialogue current: the cast often changes its players every few years with young comedians, as a way to engage the smartest and youngest talent—to truly speak with the rising generation. Think of the jump from comedians like John Belushi to Eddie Murphy to Tina Fey to Kate McKinnon, and countless others.
Like the flow of a river, trends move in a certain direction—in this case, the newness of youth moves quickly ahead with fresh ideas sparking societal and technological growth. Currency waits for no one.
Changing faces not only creates suspense, as it keeps the audience guessing, but forces the comedians themselves to perform at their best in order to stay current. What’s a better incentive to prevent yourself from being fired? That’s right—nothing.