The Office Jester… every office needs one to lighten the mood in a company in crisis
Businesses go in crisis all the time. It isn’t uncommon. More importantly, it can be an incredibly scary period for employees. You don’t know who gets offloaded and how the strategy changes to deal with the leaner period. In fact, it has nearly become a taboo subject that no one makes fun of simply because of the kind of damage that the 2008 global recession caused.
However, it’s been some time since the worldwide economic downturn passed by. So maybe we can have some fun with it. Here’s a very old skit from Saturday Night Live that tries to show the lighter side of a company in crisis.
SNL Deals with a Company in Crisis
This video, like most Saturday Night Live skits, is extremely simple. These skits are typically made for simpleminded people so that the maximum number of audiences can be entertained. We don’t mind, though. There is no simplicity or complexity in the end result of humour. Have you ever heard of complex laughter? Have you ever said, “His laughter has gravitas”? Just, doesn’t happen. So we’ll just enjoy this one.
Gravitas, by the away, almost always sounds to us like a nice deep, heavily alcoholic cocktail. It’s right in the league of the Margaritas, the Mimosas and the Sangrias of the world. How about it, then? Shall we chill out with some Gravitas?
Coming back to the object of this post – the SNL video of a company in crisis – it shows a crisis meeting at its very beginning. In a very short time, though, it manages to depict a very badly run business where there is no excellence. The company is in need of some critical intervention because it needs to cut its budget in half. So, the “manager” looks to his overly large team. There’s your first reason why they need to cut budgets but this is something that hasn’t been explained in the video. It is up to us watchers to figure it out.
The need for solutions is so dire that the “manager” is resorting to anyone and everyone in the room. This includes the Water Guy who doesn’t work there, Mountain Joe (we don’t know what that is all about, they would’ve done better with Cotton Eye Joe), Crazy Carl (don’t ask us what that means, just Google it), Gigantic Turkey Sub, Mounted Tiger Head, Invisible Man (not the creep from Hollow Man, although there’s no knowing), and Arcade Fire (the Canadian Rock Band – yes, really!).
Our favourite, of course, was the Gigantic Turkey Sub. Not only because we love sub sandwiches (or subwiches) but also because his solution was genius. Putting “mustard on it” is, indeed, the solution to all mankind’s problems.
The ending was also subtle in this skit. The “manager” gets the call and tells everyone that he has bad news. We don’t hear the news because the building falls. In other words, everyone in the room gets cut because
- It’s an oversized team,
- They’re all idiots, and
- They took too long to pick scapegoats.
The other interpretation of the ending of this video of a company in crisis is that the company rolled over because:
- They have oversized teams,
- They hire all idiots, and
- They take too long to make decisions.
Make of it what you will. Take whatever entrepreneurial / company efficiency lessons you want from it. Time for us to drop the mic.