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Writing Spirituals for Modern-Day Malaise.png

Amber Ruffin Provides Updated Spirituals

By Andrew Sanford | TV | February 15, 2021 |

By Andrew Sanford | TV | February 15, 2021 |

Writing Spirituals for Modern-Day Malaise.png

Another week, another addition to Amber Ruffin’s long list of funny, musically-themed sketches. One of the joys of Ruffin getting her own show has been the embracing of funny and silly songs. Another unbridled pleasure has been just how unapologetically Black the show is. Both of those gifts are on full display in a sketch from her newest episode.

Amber, lamenting a weary day she was having, decided to sing a spiritual (as ya do). However, she decided to give them updated lyrics and the result is a silly, “Now That’s What I Call Music” inspired bit about updated spirituals. I giggled pretty much the whole way through. The premise is sound and the lyrics are funny. Plain and simple.

It’s also wonderful, as a BIPOC, to see yet another sketch that feels like it was written by other Black people. That may seem simple on its face, and I do believe this sketch could appeal to anyone, but it’s refreshing to see this point of view on a late-night show. The Amber Ruffin Show has an all-Black writers room and it’s consistently evident and that’s friggin’ awesome.

Late-night talk shows have been in desperate need of diversity for years. There have been small victories here and there, but Amber’s show has been the biggest in quite some time. My only hope is that it continues to be successful and eventually opens the gate for more diversity! Unfortunately, the whole late-night landscape changing entirely or just dying out would be more likely to happen first.

Until then, I’m gonna keep on enjoying the great work done at The Amber Ruffin Show. It brings a damn smile to my face and a laugh to my belly!

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Andrew lives in NYC. You can follow him on twitter.

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