'SNL's Gay Scrooge Sketch Isn't Funny, It's Homophobic
Jimmy Fallon hosted SNL with Justin Timberlake as a co-host/ musical guest/ wingman this weekend and it was a holiday treat for all. Saturday's episode featured a handful of quality, really funny sketches that marginally redeemed what was a (pardon the pun) sketchy year for SNL, especially re: the conspicuous White-Maleness of their cast.
Paul McCartney showed up to shame Fallon out of a very adorable impression of him; Timberlake refrained his old but amazing Omeletville sketch in holiday fashion; Fallon and Cecily Strong did a funny post-coital version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Unfortunately, though, Saturday's episode also included "Christmas Past," a riff on Dickens' Christmas Carol that starred Fallon as a gay Ebenezer Scrooge. Old Scrooge (Taran Killam) is taken back by the ghost of Christmas Past (Kenan Thompson) to a yule ball of his youth, where it becomes apparent that Scrooge is, in fact, a closeted homosexual. Hilarity ensues!
Actually, what ensues is Fallon posturing as a gay man by using a high-pitched voice and being super dramatic about cookies, expressing his disgust for the vagina (ew, female genitalia), and lamenting the fact that he doesn't have a "big, beefy man" to cuddle with. And the whole mess wraps with present day Scrooge taking the sexy Ghost of Christmas Present home with him, because all elderly wealthy gay gentlemen need some sugar babies.
Ughhh. There's a point in the sketch where Ghost Kenan says, "and because you didn't love your true self, you wound up a loveless, rich, unhappy old fart." Ah, yes, let us reduce the complexity of coming out in a still very homophobic landscape to not doin' u.
"Christmas Past" was such an indelicate approach to humor that it's surprising that Kate McKinnon, an open lesbian, starred as the woeful lass who was the object of Scrooge's revulsion. So let's see, what not-so-tacit homophobic stereotypes did SNL pack into its not even three minute sketch? Fallon is "flamboyant," he hates pussy, he wants a sugar daddy, and then he becomes one. Why do you keep putting your own damn foot in your mouth, SNL?! This episode had so much potential. Fallon and Timberlake are the dream team! We were all rooting for you!
Over at Buzzfeed, Jamie Etkin rounded up some of the best Twitter reacts to the embarrassing "Christmas Past", most of which pointed out that there was no need for such a gratuitous homophobic sketch. It's not only that SNL seems to continue to embarrass themselves, but where even on earth are they getting these gay stereotypes? Also, they created Stefon, one of their most beloved characters, who was strange and surreal and loved Ed Hardy and Seth Meyers' sweet lips, and he just HAPPENED to be gay. They also did this wonderful Xanax for Gay Weddings Ad earlier this year, so we know the show writers have the potential to write interesting material.
In a week when Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson so hatefully spewed his homophobia, SNL should have known better than to write and air "Christmas Past." Beyond uncreative, it was such a gross display of passive homophobia that darkened an otherwise quality episode. Bah, humbug.
Images: Dana Edelson/NBC, Tumblr