Who is Please Don’t Destroy and how are they saving SNL?

4 mins read

Saturday Night Live episodes are often a hit or miss. The weekly host adds a fresh take every time but the cast recently suffered the retirement of Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, and the controversial – yet amusing – Pete Davidson.

The show is currently in the run of its 48th season with recent hosts being Wednesday’s Jenna Ortega, NFL Super Bowl winner Travis Kelce, and everyone’s favourite internet daddy Pedro Pascal.

Please Don’t Destroy. L-R: Ben Marshall, Martin Herlihy, and John Higgins. Image Credit: YouTube

The nepo baby comedy group with a sense of humour

Fans of silly humour will love Please Don’t Destroy. The trio often resides in their habitual office where they engage in normal conversation until everything spirals out of control. The rapid escalation, perfectly timed line delivery, dirty side-eyes, and just pure production value makes even the most absurd concepts believable – and hysterically funny.

The comedy trio Please Don’t Destroy, consisting of Ben Marshall, John Higgins, and Martin Herlihy, was onboarded to the writing team in 2021 to produce pre-recorded videos.

Higgins and Herlihy, who are sons of SNL legends Steve Higgins and Tim Herlihy, started their comedy trio with Marshall in 2017 in New York, as collaborating students at New York University. They did monthly comedy shows, appeared at the New York Comedy Festival, and released skits on YouTube.

The trio recently ventured outside the safety of their shared office to a stakeout with Woody Harrelson, a self-defence class with Travis Kelce, and a great American road trip with Jenna Ortega. Each one is more hysterical than the previous, but the group proves with each sketch that they have a real sense of comedy.

The consensus is that Please Don’t Destroy is saving SNL. Since their TV debut in 2021, they are increasingly becoming a must-watch every episode. Not all of the pre-recorded sketches see the light of live TV, but they live on the SNL YouTube channel.

Please Don’t Destroy is not reinventing the wheel of comedy. Their shtick is simple: funny and classic. They often include the newer SNL cast and weekly hosts where all three members exude so much chemistry that even Lizzo and Zoë Kravitz fit right in with the fun chaos.

Are we looking at the new Lonely Island?

The group’s popularity is so potent that Universal Pictures have picked up an untitled film project, planned to be released later this summer. As well as writing and producing, the Please Don’t Destroy guys will also star in the movie. It follows that the obvious comparison to a much older SNL comedy group, Lonely Island, is brought up.  

What makes Please Don’t Destroy so enjoyable is the autobiographical aspects of the stories that are written and produced. It is a testament to the group’s shared experience, their touch with the times, and a healthy sprinkle of self-irony. Although the door to the SNL was always partially open, there is no doubt that their first entrance to the writer’s office was prominent.

Featured Image Credit: Please Don’t Destroy

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Fourth year English and Journalism student and Comment editor. Talk to me about fashion, culture, language and media.

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