SNL’s ‘Strollin’ to the Polls’ Would Be Funny If It Wasn’t So Sad

In an episode of Saturday Night Live with more than one musical sketch, the standout wasn’t John Mulaney’s usual lightly comic Broadway revue, but instead a groovy, ’70s-tinged, extremely depressing “get out the vote” PSA called “Strollin.” In the song, a group of four Black voters — Crazy Legs Jimmy (Kenan Thompson), Rubber Band Ronnie (Chris Redd), Pitty Pat Patricia (Punkie Johnson) and Michelle, just Michelle (Ego Nwodim) — sing a song about how they’re “strollin’ to the polls” because “it’s time to march on down and get our voices heard.” As they step-touch in sync to the polling station, they find it’s been shut down, as have the others in their neighborhood. So now they have to stroll along an interstate highway to the polls, dodging cars and cramping up. And when they finally reach an open polling location, they’re met with an hours-long wait and a heavily armed Boogaloo Boy. “Strollin’” is both a goofy, corny song and a genuinely damning political satire about how hundreds of polling locations have closed in largely Black and Latino communities to make it less accessible for minorities to vote. (“I regret living in Texas!”) It deftly points out the hypocrisy of sunny voter PSA messaging (“I saw the ads, they need us!”) that doesn’t acknowledge how actual infrastructure disenfranchises entire communities from safe, free, easy participation in the election process. It’s the catchiest song about voter suppression you’ve ever heard. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so depressing.

SNL’s ‘Strollin’ Sketch Would Be Funny If It Wasn’t So Sad