'SNL' Newbie Jon Rudnitsky Finally Makes His Mark On The Show With A 'Dirty Dancing' Parody
Every year, when Saturday Night Live rejiggers its cast, all eyes are on the new talent. But some performers take more time than others to actually break out in a sketch — if they get the chance to break out at all. This year, new SNL addition Jon Rudnitsky has been laying low. On the February 6 episode, hosted by Larry David, he may have finally gotten his breakout moment. It came in during Weekend Update, when Rudnitsky broke out a Dirty Dancing parody that has to be seen to be believed.
Prior to Update, Rudnitsky's been so backgrounded on the show that I didn't notice that he was wearing a Patrick Swayze wig until they pointed it out. He was introduced to talk about the possibility of a live, television performance of Dirty Dancing to be presented on the heels of the success of Grease Live. Rudnitsky entered and threw his hat into the ring for the Swayze part, and showed off some of his dance moves as a makeshift audition. Only, instead of the normal dance moves you'd expect a fan of Dirty Dancing to use — the lambada, maybe — Rudnitsky, well, put his own twist on things.
This is an expert bit of physical comedy. I had no idea what Rudnitsky could do as a performer before, but now I have a sense of how absolutely silly he can be. And it's all the more impressive that he went through a series of jokes so quickly without having to deliver a single punchline. It was knee-slappingly funny.
I don't know if Dirty Dancing Live is really a thing, or if anybody involved with the casting was watching. If so...they still shouldn't hire Rudnitsky for the Swayze role. But he could be excellent comic relief.
Image: Mary Ellen Matthews