Knock knock. Who’s there? “Please Don’t Destroy.” “Please Don’t Destroy who?” Please Don’t Destroy, is a comedy sketch trio made up of Ben Marshall, Martin Herlihy and John Higgins. According to the comedy group’s website, they are currently writing and making videos for “Saturday Night Live,” as well as performing at multiple comedy festivals.
The trio made their “SNL” debut on Oct. 9, 2021. They were hired as “SNL” writers for the new season, but their sketches have quickly amassed a massive fan base.
“Please Don’t Destroy was a refreshing add on to ‘SNL,’” said senior Patrick Coyne. “For the past couple of years, the skits were all usually the same people, so it was nice to see some new faces added to the arsenal.”
Even though they’re new faces to “SNL” this season, you might have seen them before. The group’s most viral TikTok was about one member getting vaccinated, which was posted on Marshall’s account.
In the TikTok, Higgins asks Marshall if he got the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, to which Marshall replies, “Oh, I think it was the Dumbrekka?” The 60 second skit about their made-up vaccine received 3.4 million likes and is currently at 19.6 million views.
According to Britannica, “Saturday Night Live” is in its 47th season and as the years go by, the show must adapt to the changing times and newer generations. “The show has consistently attracted new viewers who have entered that demographic group while remaining a favorite with many who have moved out of it.”
“‘SNL’ needs to keep pivoting to the newer audience as well, younger viewers are obviously well connected to social media but the inclusion of Please Don’t Destroy, brings the TikTok crowd to TV,” said Prof. Gregory Golda.
Though most of the content of the show is live, Please Don’t Destroy is pre-recorded content.
“Personally, I prefer pre-recorded skits, it’s funnier to me and usually better quality then something that is live,” said Coyne.
Pre-recorded scenes and skits are developed to be synchronized perfectly, while live skits have a more authentic factor.
“I prefer live skits over pre-recorded ones. It’s more fun to see the comedians acting on the fly,” said junior Anastasia Colagreco. “Hearing the laughs of the audience and seeing cast members sometimes breaking character is what makes it so good.”
The Lonely Island was a previous comedy trio that wrote and starred in ‘SNL’ skits.
“I remember as a kid really loving Mr. Bill segments, and then in the ‘90s, Robert Smigel’s animated segments,” said Golda. “And you can’t forget Lonely Island, which laid the foundation for PDD’s pre-recorded digital films.”
According to Mud Magazine, many have called Please Don’t Destroy the “successor” to active musical-comedy troupe, The Lonely Island. Please Don’t Destroy has, in only a couple of months, proved its approach to comedy is different.
“I like Please Don’t Destroy, to an extent. They’re funny, but they just aren’t as funny as Kyle and Beck, or like any of the cast members I grew up watching,” said Colagreco. “They’re fun to watch, but I feel like what they do has been done before. I think nepotism is a big reason they are on the show.”
Martin Herlihy is the son of former ‘SNL’ writer, Tim Herlihy. He has helped write multiple Adam Sandler films, such as ‘Happy Gilmore’ and ‘The Wedding Singer.’
John Higgins is the son of Steve Higgins, another former writer for ‘SNL.’ You may recognize him as the current announcer of ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.’
You can catch Please Don’t Destroy on the upcoming episodes of ‘Saturday Night Live’ every Saturday night at 11:30 p.m. EST on NBC.