Saturday Night Live’s 47th Season premiere poked fun at the wild parents we’ve all seen or heard spread misinformation about COVID
Raise your hand if you’ve ever questioned your sanity during a school board meeting. That’s everyone, right? This year has been especially rough, as schools across the country attempt to keep parents and staff informed on their specific COVID safety policies. These meetings have brought all the conspiracy theorists and Karens out of the woodwork, and SNL captured this chaotic energy perfectly with this sketch.
“I am concerned, and I am also crazy,” says the first speaker at the school board meeting as she spews a conspiracy theory about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And somehow, that is the most sane character who approaches the podium.
The sketch hits all the COVID conspiracy best hits, and then some.
One parent asks if the school has approved the use of “a hormone given to elephants in captivity to boost sperm production,” a clear dig at the dangerous conspiracy theory promoting the use of ivermectin, a horse dewormer, as a COVID treatment. “It cured my COVID in basically half a day,” says the dad, who isn’t looking like the epitome of health he claims to be. “It’s very safe, my son took it and had no adverse effects,” the dad says as the camera pans to a bearded boy.
Speakers get more and more off-topic as the sketch goes on, attacking critical race theory being taught in schools, going on rants about President Obama, and complaining about teens who “vape and anal each other.” Also, shout out to Bowen Yang, who makes the sketch as a dreaded conspiracy bro.
“I’m so mad I’m literally shaking right now. Forget COVID. The real threat is critical race theory being taught in our schools,” one angry white woman says at the podium. “My question is: what is it? And why am I mad about it?”
As silly and seemingly far-fetched as the sketch is, it isn’t too far from reality.
Some school board meetings have gotten so wild this year that the National School Boards Association asked the federal government to step in and help stop school board threats. Some parents have threatened teachers, board members, and other staff online, in the mail, and in person.
“As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” the association wrote in a letter to President Biden. Here’s hoping that somehow these meetings get less dangerous for everyone involved, especially the people trying to keep our kids safe while they learn.