Emmy-award winning show Saturday Night Live (SNL) has been slammed by viewers and victims of the heroin epidemic after creating a joke advertisement about a new and ‘advanced’ heroin drug they called ‘Heroin AM’.

A Few Quick Points about SNL

SNL is a comedy show hosted by NBC and it has been a mainstay of network television since its premier in 1975. It has an established group of cast members that in the past has included notable personalities such as Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey and Seth Meyers. The show also gets famous people to host every episode, as well as musical guests to perform.

Over the years, SNL has helped to spotlight many issues in America by parodying contemporary politics and culture. As such, many of their comedy sketches have been very edgy and controversial. For instance, last year’s ‘ISIS skit’ where SNL host Dakota Johnson parodied a Toyota Camry commercial that involved a young girl joining ISIS instead of the US Army split viewers into two groups. One group thought it was hilarious, whereas the second group thought it was depraved and insensitive.

This time around, it seems the majority of the SNL audience is outraged by the latest comedy sketch, with some even calling for a boycott of the show.

Controversial ‘Heroin AM’ Joke

Former SNL cast member and award-winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus – well known for her role in Veep and Seinfeld – returned to host SNL’s recent episode and is in the midst of its controversial digital short ‘Heroin AM’.

The ‘Heroin AM’ ad starts off with Kate McKinnon, playing a mom with kids that are heading off to school. She says that despite being a mom, she likes to “have fun”. Louis-Dreyfus, who plays a school bus driver, appears and says, “I wanna use heroin. But I also want to get stuff done. That’s why I reach for Heroin AM; the only non-drowsy heroin on the market.”

A chart then pops up showing that heroin usage has increased whereas the productivity of the users has remained “stagnant”. McKinnon then explains that Heroin AM solves this problem by combining “heroin with five milligrams of caffeine and a small pile of cocaine.”

Louis-Dreyfus adds that the drug is available in gummy bears form and can be “melted down and injected.” Her sketch husband also shows up and tells their son that for the first time, his mom won’t need an afternoon nap. The ad ends with Louis-Dreyfus saying she was now “nodding ‘Yes’ to heroin”.

Viewers Criticize SNL for Heroin Skit

While it is not unusual for SNL to receive negative comments due to its sketches, many people feel that the show went too far with its recent joke. A quick look around social media brought up comments such as “distasteful”, “insensitive”, “sickening”, and “disgusting”.

Some people commented on YouTube saying the joke was “not funny”. Others wrote that if the people in the skit ever lost someone due to a heroin overdose, they would not make such “hurtful” jokes. One YouTube commenter wrote that there was “nothing funny about the pain and suffering of families watching loved ones’ lives spiral out of control” or having to bury your own children due to heroin.

Even though SNL has been able to push people to discuss controversial issues in society, the heroin skit did not consider how much suffering the epidemic has brought to the lives of many Americans.

Heroin addiction, overdoses and mixing narcotic drugs is not a laughing matter!