Blog by Voon Pang
Nov. 8, 2012

The presidential election is over and what a close one it was (we got quite a bit of news coverage over here in New Zealand)! Similar to the election results, though much smaller in scale and way less significant, the SNL Skit survey had an even spread of reactions until a few vital responses swung the results to indicate that most people found the skit mildly amusing (10% more than the next response). However, when the number of mildly and highly amused reactions were combined and the number of mildly and highly offended reactions were combined, the difference between the two was much less (42% offended vs. 48% amused). See for yourself on the chart below –

Of those who responded, 62% were female and 38% were male and the proportion of people who stuttered was 43% (vs 57%  people who didn’t stutter). Without a gold or platinum Survey Monkey account, I wasn’t able to ‘crosstab’ responses to see whether there was a difference between females and males in their reactions and people who stutter against people who didn’t stutter. Forty-two people participated in the online poll.

However, here were some of the comments on the Stuttering Foundation website from my original post in September:

“I did not laugh at all. I was not highly offended, only mildly. But, I also did not see any humor in it whatsoever.”

“I saw the skit more as a statement about dynamics between military personnel and the personality traits we associate with the stereotype of the drill sergeant; the macho guy who is unable to acknowledge any trait potentially perceived as a deficit and his total denial of it in the face of clear evidence. Stuttering happened to be the vehicle used for the illustration, but it could have been any number of conditions. That being said, it is my opinion and wish that people would be more sensitive to individuals with clinically-impairing conditions, regardless of what it is, especially the folks whose material will be viewed by millions of people.”

“As the mother of a 6 year old child who stutters and someone who managed PT, OT, and ST's, you need to get out of the field if you even remotely thought the skit was acceptable or funny.”

“I was comforted by the fact that MOST of the audience seemed not to be laughing at the stutter, but at the discomfort of the soldiers in not knowing the appropriate answer to make. That being said, I didn't find the skit funny at all, but that's par for the course on SNL these days.”

In conclusion, intentional or not, the skit opened up a dialogue about stuttering which has only meant more awareness for the general public. Many thanks for those who participated in the survey and provided comments voicing how they felt about the skit.