This little effort has been instructive. After years of feeling like Saturday Night Live had “issues” (which were consequently resulting in gay-themed sketches and characters that weren’t as sharp or funny as the could be, needed to be), I started SNL Homowatch in March. Almost immediately, I noticed a decline in the very sort of misfires and offenses that made me want to start this project in the first place. So: does keeping tabs make me realize that it wasn’t as out-of-hand as I thought? Or has SNL scaled back on the fag jokes? Hmmm. I’ll keep the project going until I decide. Let’s get to it; here’s a breakdown of the last two shows. (Oh, and, if you’re a newcomer to SNL Homowatch and are getting ready to leave a comment asking me to chill out, read this. Other installments are here, and here.)
Air date: 4/24/2010
Host: Gabourey Sidibe
Musical guest: MGMT
This show made me think about how infrequently there’s a black female host, but that’s an issue for someone else’s SNL watch.
Early on, the amazing Kristen Wiig brought back her delish Suze Orman impression for a sketch. It seems as though SNL has pulled back on making fun of gay men in order to fixate on lesbian jokes, notably with a recent spate of “ESPN Classic” sketches which feature masculine female athletes in the 1980s and two inept announcers, Pete Twinkle and Greg Stink (Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte), who break in to tout the sponsor, which is always a feminine hygiene product. SNL has become from fag jokes to vadge jokes. Improvement? Probably not very. Anyway, enjoy some Suze talking about cooze:
I love Wiig as Orman (who is an out lesbian), but I did notice how the lesbo jokes got thicker this time. I think it works here — it’s funny, with mildly ha-ha to sorta-lame references to “my temperature-controlled jacket shed” and “my crazy lesbian cat, kitty lang” and “my miniature horse, Meredith Baxter-Pony.” (“I wasn’t listening. I had a producer in ear yelling the WNBA scores in my ear. The good news is I just won 30 bucks from Cynthia Nixon.”) When she started talking about the women’s health pap-smear cruise, I dunno. Still, I give it a pass.
I don’t always hate SNL’s attempts to do gay. I think Bill Hader’s “Stefon” character, a new addition to “Weekend Update” was pretty close to brilliant:
Yes, it’s a horribly femmy stereotype of a club kid, but there’s something sorta right about it, especially the methy nervousness. It was made all the better by the fact that Hader couldn’t stop laughing, which made Seth Meyers laugh. “New York’s hottest club is Crease! Club promoter Tranny Oakley has gone all out and inside it’s just everything … lights, psychos, Furbies, screaming babies in Mozart wigs. Sunburned drifters in soap-suds beards!” Also loved: “The hot new club is called Wesh! Nine-year-old Tokyo pimp Ichi Yokiguro is back with a new hotspot that answers the question, ‘What?!’” You have to admit “Teddy Graham people” is funny. (“Where are guy has the stumpy arms but with the belly?”) “The things you describe,” Meyer told Stefon, “sound like visions a dying gay man might have under too many blankets.”
I give it a Gay+. I like Stefon almost as much as I liked Angie Ventura, the Bitch Pleazzzze blogger.
Air date: 4/17/10
Host: Ryan Phillippe
Musical guest: Ke$ha
Ryan Phillippe? Looking like he was covered in tan makeup, and chosen to host, obviously, because he sacrificed himself to the “MaGruber” movie.
Even less to examine here, Homowatch-wise. The vadge jokes continue apace in another “ESPN Classic” sketch. (Maybe this blog feature should become “SNL Vadge-watch” instead?) Phillippe and Wiig play steroidal female weightlifters (Olivia Newton Cougar Mellencamp vs. Sue Ferrgino) and the event is brought to you by the Today contraceptive sponge (“Put a baby-blocker in your lady locker!”; “Trying to avoid the stork? Well, use this vagina cork!”; “Can’t keep your legs shut? Well, put one of these in your front-butt!”). I only mention these skits because 1., the athletes are always a bit lesbionic and 2., they’re starting to increase the suggestion that there’s something going on between Pete and Greg, the announcers. We’ll keep note.
Other than that (does Ke$ha qualify for SNL Homowatch?), there’s not much to say. “Weekend Update” had one line about Huckabee comparing gay adoptions to picking out puppies, to which Seth Meyers said “Huckabee has no idea how awesomely gay men treat their puppies.” Also, “Weekend Update” had a brief encounter with an unctuous new Will Forte character, “Father Swimcoach Scoutmaster,” which is sort of self-explanatory and not a gay joke, but a pedophile joke. I hope everyone knows the diff.
Last Next-t0-last show of the season: Betty White on May 8. Now how gay is that?