Second City's Generation Gap So Perfectly Gets It Right
Last night, I saw Second City's show "Generation Gap…Or, How Many Millennials Does It Take to Teach a Baby Boomer to Text Generation X?" at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and I was laughing along with the entire audience of GenXers, Baby Boomers, Millennials, and even a few Generation Z's (who probably thought we were all nuts). The cast brought many generational differences - and some similarities - to light with so many hilarious skits, but the funniest scenes involved bringing audience members on stage and putting them through a kind of game show test. If you are in DC, you have to see this show!
A middle school boy was asked to read the time on an analog wall clock (it showed 2:15 pm) and he said "10:30." He was asked to write "Generation" in cursive on a white board and the result was insane. It wasn't cursive; not sure what it was. A cast member joked the kid just invented "a new font" (in a nice way). Not surprising, right? But makes us really think about what different generations know, and often don't need to know. Shockingly, the boy did know how to use a rotary phone!
The Generation X woman behind me went onstage and massively failed her test to answer "Who is Cardi B?" and identify a line of lyrics to two out of three Beyonce songs. Good for her for knowing one of the songs! And I had to Google "Cardi B" at intermission, as I had no idea who or what that was. Thought maybe it was a clothing brand.
The point is, this generation gap stuff can be really funny. And noone in the audience or cast was nasty about it. People of all ages were rooting for the game show volunteers. We weren't laughing at them, we were laughing with them. Yes, that's really a thing.
This all inspired me to try to open up the lines of communication between the generations even more. Watch for my new monthly feature in the coming weeks, "Ask a Millennial." To submit a question, send it to email@example.com.