Chris Kattan on Cancel Culture in Comedy: ‘Family-Friendly Is the Way to Go’

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Chris Kattan believes comedians “can’t be outrageous anymore” because of COVID and cancel culture. Though there’s a way to avoid tripping any sensors, the Saturday Night Live alum said: Do more family-friendly comedy that makes everyone laugh.

Speaking with Fox News, Chris Kattan said the world of comedy has changed in recent years to one that’s more focused on protection rather than provocation. Comics can’t get away with what they used to — for better and worse. Kattan thinks they need to focus on making everyone laugh rather than shocking them.

“If you want to do something funny, you can’t be outrageous anymore,” he said. “You do have to be careful, but I think family-friendly is the way to go right now. And that’s the kind of humor I like anyway. And that’s the humor I like doing.”

Kattan said he realized how important this brand of comedy was because of COVID. He said being stuck inside during quarantine helped him realize that there’s a need for more jokes that can unite people.

“I write and direct shorts, but it’s really family-friendly,” he explained. “You just need to think about what a family would like because we’re all in this same space together. Because of COVID, we went back to the people we love and we spent more time together at home. And I think with humor, if you can look at any age or sex and they’re laughing, then I think you’re in the right place when it comes to comedy. And that’s where I almost always have been. My humor is family-friendly.”

Along with his YouTube sketch show Hey Kattan!, the 51-year-old recently worked on the new movie Famous, which explores the “true cost of fame.”

He’s the latest former Saturday Night Live star to come out against cancel culture. David Spade, Jim Brewer, Rob Schneider, and Dennis Miller all have complained about the state of comedy today.

Chris Kattan On ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 2021

Saturday Night Live jump-started Chris Kattan’s career. His over-the-top characters like Mr. Peeper and Mango were staples of the show in the late 90s. He’s most famous for his time as one of the head-bopping Roxbury brothers with Will Ferrell on the show.

Saturday Night Live today looks a lot different than it did 20 years ago. So, what does Chris Kattan think of the show today? It’s great. While people have a tendency to look back on the show with rose-colored glasses, the complaints were the same then. The faces have changed, the comedy stays constant, he said.

“[The cast] works so well together,” he said. “I love seeing that chemistry. It’s making me laugh a lot lately and it’s great that they’re allowing guests to poke fun at themselves or to just show how funny they can be too. SNL has this great sixth sense when they can tell if someone is genuinely funny, but they haven’t had the chance to show an audience that, let alone the world. Like, look at Harry Styles. Who would have thought? SNL allows the person to have a space where they can be funny. And it’s neat that we’re seeing that more with the guests.”