Yesterday's Hatchet Control Is Today's Gun Control, Proves Hilarious TV Show
Wednesday's episode of Comedy Central's Another Period (created by and starring comedians Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome) perfectly captured the insanity of opposing gun control in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. Coincidentally, it aired the same day of Rep. John Lewis' sit-in to protest the Republican-led House's inaction on gun reform.
Since it is set in the Gilded Age, the characters are talking about hatchets rather than guns. Otherwise, the dialogue could pretty much be taking place today.
As cocreator and star Riki Lindhome puts it while playing the character of heiress Beatrice Bellacourt, "The point is, hatchets don't kill people. People without hatchets do because they basically kill themselves by not having hatchets."
Via Comedy Central
In the episode "Annulment," Beatrice's soon-to-be (barely closeted) ex-husband Albert reckons with PTSD from being attacked by Beatrice's idiot brother with a hatchet. Typically on good terms, Albert and Beatrice argue about the best way for him to recover from his trauma before they go through with an annulment.
Beatrice, a ditz who loves hatchets, is convinced Albert must face his fears by surrounding himself with weapons.
Albert is not convinced.
"How many people—and servants—have to die before we realize enough is enough?" he asks, lacing his point with a healthy dose of clueless classism.
"So you're saying I should give up my hatchets just because they cause some people to act violently?" retorts Beatrice.
"Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying!" says an exasperated Albert.
Like any good modern-day NRA member, Beatrice sees a slippery slope.
"First you take my hatchets, then you take my buzz saws. What's next?" she asks. "How am I supposed to ... defend myself in a mutiny?"
"You can use a gun in a mutiny," says Albert.
"That would take forever to load!" cries Beatrice.
"I think this house would be a lot safer ... if we got rid of the hatchets," Albert says, "or instituted some kind of waiting period." Gee, you think?
"That's crazy," scoffs Beatrice. "Every man, some children, and me, should be armed with a hatchet. I mean, think about it. If you had a hatchet, you could have killed your attacker before he killed you!"
"I'm not dead; he didn't kill me," Albert corrects her.
"Or, you could have thrown your hatchet at [your attacker]'s hatchet and stopped it in mid-air," Beatrice theorizes.
It's not the first time the show has expertly satirized current events. From idiotic celebrity culture (it's been called Keeping Up with the Kardashians in the Gilded Age) to racism to socioeconomic inequality and the impossibility of upward mobility, Another Period puts the comfortable distance of time between us and the worst parts of our culture.
In the early aughts of the 20th century, "no one was paying income tax," cocreator and costar Natasha Leggero explained on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on Tuesday. "So they were living like rappers." Appropriately, Snoop Dogg sings the show's catchy theme song.
"Annulment" aired a week after the Orlando shooting, during which late-night comedy hosts seemed unable to put a fresh spin on a gun control story we should have buried the hatchet on ages ago. After all, what more can be said until something changes in the way America regulates deadly weapons?
And by the way, in case you're still wondering, as Leggero said on "The Late Show," Another Period is "not about a period."