Tonight is the season four premiere of Finding Your Roots. Tune in this season for such non surprises as Larry David and Senator Bernie Sanders being related.
Finding Your Roots is so compelling because everyone’s relatives have been consistently impressive. (Unless you’re Ben Affleck. Then your relatives are racist.) Yes, yes of course they are cherry picking stories to impress (or in Ben’s case, the stories that don’t involve owning human beings), but when you look at the adversity normal people used to face just to exist on a daily basis, everyone was amazing. The grit, gumption and perseverance it took to cross the Atlantic, cook a meal, use outdoor plumbing means literally anyone who survived even a single day up until at least 1900 deserved a freaking medal.
As time marches on, the luxuries of technology and modernity mean people are getting (already are?) less amazing. Which begs the question, what will Finding Your Roots look like in, say, it’s 400th season, when the bean system is the way (all hail the beans). I can picture it now…
The year is 2417. Finding Your Roots has rebooted as Finding Your Synthetically Augmented Electronic Polymer Nucleotides, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (During his 2009 beer summit with then President Barack Obama, Gates ingested some Obama DNA when he accidentally grabbed Obama’s beer and drank backwash. It was discovered in 2020’s Battle of MAGA that Obama is actually immortal, a trait he can pass on to others through bodily fluids.)
Gates: Jen-5000, thank you for taking us on this journey with you as we find your synthetically augmented electronic polymer nucleotides.
Jen-5000: That’s a really long title. Are you going to repeat it every time?
Gates: I’m just imagining whoever came up with it did a lot of google searching to get the right terms that felt equal parts real and funny, so trying to give her some props.
Jen-5000: Sure, anyway, what did you find?
Gates: Well, as you know most records of all kind were destroyed in 2020’s Battle of MAGA. So we’re solely relying here on what Former President Zuckerberg’s emergency clouds were able to store.
Jen-5000: Yup, makes sense.
Gates: We honed in quickly on the day to day for your second cousin 13 times removed, Jen. It appears that sometime in 2014 she was at the center of a riveting debate regarding…whether or not one should toast a fresh, New York City bagel.
Jen-5000: The answer is no. While all food has been ingested in pill form since 2026, as predicted accurately by Ryan Murphy, I know only to pick the fresh bagel flavored capsules to honor my ancestors. Anything else I might NOT know about already?
Gates: Hmm, it says here she thought La La Land was REALLY, really overrated….cat, cat picture, another cat picture…
Jen-5000: ANYTHING else?
Gates: And there is the time she opted to “share” because she was excited it was pumpkin spiced latte time…
Jen-5000: Okay just stop.