CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
TV and Movies

Brilliant 'SNL' parody invents an Amazon Echo for old people

If you can't remember the name Alexa and really want to know how Satchel Paige is doing, this might be the device for you.

Senior citizens and technology don't always get along. But in a parody ad aired on "Saturday Night Live" on Saturday, Amazon solved that problem, inventing "Amazon Echo Silver -- For The Greatest Generation." And it's kind of a shame it's not real, even for some of the younger set.

For one thing, this version of Amazon's smart speaker responds to any randomly close name to "Alexa" that an elderly person might come up with -- Allegra, Anita, Odessa, Aretha, Excedrin, whatever. It patiently repeats answers over and over, even after the asker has forgotten the question. It dutifully reminds them their favorite ballplayer died in the 1980s, fills them in on what the young people goofing off on the street corner are up to, and helps them find the phone they've lost (it's in your right hand). And when they shiver under a blanket and ask for the heat to be cranked, it uselessly points out that the room is already at 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 Celsius).

But maybe best of all, it has an "uh-huh" feature, and just keeps repeating that phrase when the owner goes off on a rambling, pointless story. Why isn't this a real product again?