WHAT: A fake ad for a new smart home device, Amazon Echo Silver.
WHO: The team at Saturday Night Live.
WHY WE CARE: The problem with teaching one’s grandparents how to correspond through email, find Bill O’Reilly’s podcast, or browse WebMD is that it’s never a one-time thing. They will need a refresher course with every new email, podcast episode, and ailment, perceived or imagined. It’s not the case for everyone, of course, but seniors as a group tend to be terminally slow on the tech uptake. That is why assisting them with computers requires adaptability and deep reservoirs of Job-ian patience. A new fake ad on SNL takes this diagnosis into account with the smart home device, Amazon Echo Silver, which takes some of the legwork out of assisting grandparents. It answers to any name remotely close to what it’s actually called, fact-checks questions that presume we’re living in a far earlier year than 2017, and even simulates a reluctant but steady listener with it’s “uh-huh” feature. The sketch is obviously just a gentle joke, but if Amazon truly did team up with AARP to make such a device, it would likely scale immediately.JB