Lena Dunham, you may have heard of her, will host Saturday Night Live on March 8th, along with musical guest The National. I cannot express to you how perfect this is, except that yes I can, and I will.
She's Smart and She's Kind of Weird
Lena Dunham is a very funny writer and performer. Humor is subjective, of course, but Lena has proven her mettle and her talent with, so far, a feature film and a show she writes and produces and directs, and also a book. Her humor is not for everyone, but it is finely attuned to a certain demographic of young people who live or want to live in a city like New York and have an opinion about Gawker Media properties and use the word “weblog” to be funny at parties where people are just on the cusp of trading in their red Solo cups for glassware purchased at the Brooklyn Flea. It is good for people to be exposed to different kinds of comedy, and also to think about things like privilege and growing up and making mistakes and wearing rompers in a way that’s funny, and also sometimes sad. Lena is very good at this, and could maybe bring a little bit of that to SNL, which tends to have a broader sensibility, although that is certainly changing.
This is a Chance to Get Some Stuff Out in the Open
To that end, Lena and SNL could also mutually benefit from addressing, in a smart way, the maelstrom of criticism they have received for being very myopic in the people with which they surround themselves, and the stories that those people tell. Which is to say: They can engage with the criticism that they exclude or simply forget non-white people. While they have addressed that to a degree, it does behoove them — both as entities in the media and who exist in and comment on a world where people come in different colors — to listen to that criticism and to consider expanding their view of, say, New York City. Or of a pop culture and political landscape, rife for parody, that includes many people who happen to not be white men with brown hair and the ability to “yes, and.” You know there will be a sketch about a black Girls castmember, or at least riffing on that. (I am like 92.3% sure it'll involve Keenan, just to mess with people. And maybe as a way for SNL to lampoon itself.)
She Can Make Fun of Dumb Things
As the saying goes, revenge is a dish best served on a live sketch show. Well, not revenge so much as addressing why being asked why we are being shown your naked body and why we cannot see unretouched pictures of said body in a fashion magazine is very dumb.
She Gets to Show That She's Not Hannah
Lena Dunham is not Hannah Horvath. I know this because one is a fictional person who says things like "You know what, honestly maybe you should think about the fact that you could be fetishizing me. Because how many white women have you dated?" because a writer on the show would like audiences to realize she is sometimes just awful, and also because Lena Dunham has said so. Both girls also have different opinions about popular websites, the truest mark of getting to the very core of a person.
Hosting SNL and being able to play other characters can help Lena demonstrate her versatility and show that, while the two might share a haircut, a successful showrunner is not the same person as a girl who informs her parents that she might just be the voice of her generation.