‘Please Don’t Destroy’ approachable through ‘Gen Z humor’


Please Don't Destroy

Please Don’t Destroy Members Ben Marshall, Martin Herlihy and John Higgins were hired by SNL to introduce their Gen Z humor to the show through weekly skits.

Clare O'Connor, Multimedia Editor

“Saturday Night Live” hired Ben Marshall, Martin Herlihy and John Higgins, the three members of comedy group Please Don’t Destroy, to write for the show and create one video short every week, hoping the group’s brand of short, dense, absurdist humor would make “SNL” more appealing to younger viewers who have grown used to microformats like Vine and TikTok and have been desensitized by overexposure to the internet. 

The group’s mastery of “Gen Z humor” is evident through their weekly videos and their writing contributions, making the show approachable to a previously disengaged audience.

Their first “SNL” video short demonstrates their thoughtful writing and particular comedic style, including a new joke about every five seconds of the two-minute skit. The jokes in the video all stem from one simple observation: lots of different companies are making their own brands of hard seltzer. The skit exists in a world where even JCPenney makes its own hard seltzer, and this base joke gets stretched to absurdity as a belt buckle falls out of Martin’s mouth and he reveals that their dentist, Dr. Riccardi, also has a hard seltzer brand. 

Students should give this old show a new chance, and watch the Please Don’t Destroy’s video shorts and a few of the more popular skits from this season. “SNL” is making a lot of progress toward adapting traditional media to be more accessible to younger generations.