'Saturday Night Live's Fat Joke Track Record Could Spell Bad News for Host Lena Dunham
It's been confirmed, so go ahead and set your DVRs: Lena Dunham is hosting Saturday Night Live on March 8. And while I'm mostly optimistic, there's one thing I'm worried about: fat jokes. And it's not because I think that Dunham is fat, but nevertheless, she's been labeled "fat" time and time again, and with her hosting SNL, I can't help but wonder if they'll attempt to work a joke about Dunham's body into a skit, since her body is something that audiences, whether they know her or not, are familiar with.
And unfortunately, Saturday Night Live doesn't have the greatest track record of staying away from the easy fat joke. And for that reason, I'm nervous. These 4 recent examples prove that Dunham should be nervous when reviewing the initial skit scripts, too.
1. SETH MEYERS AND AMY POEHLER TRADED FAT JOKES FOR SEVERAL MINUTES
When Manuel Uribe Garza, the world's heaviest man got engaged, SNL took the opportunity to make not one, but four jokes about the man's weight. The full transcript of the moment is below:
- Manuel Uribe, the world’s heaviest man, announced this week that he will marry his longtime girlfriend. The couple will honeymoon wherever he currently is.
- Manuel Uribe, the world’s heaviest man, announced this week that he will marry his longtime girlfriend. Of course, once he’s married, you know he’s gonna let himself go!
- Manuel Uribe, the world’s heaviest man, announced this week that he will marry his longtime girlfriend. They will spend their honeymoon attempting to locate his penis!
Seth Meyers: Are you done?
Amy Poehler: Yeah! I had my fun, and I’m done now!
Seth Meyers: Alright. Well, I’m glad.
- Manuel Uribe, the world’s heaviest man, announced this week that he will marry his longtime girlfriend… in an attempt to get cake.
2. THEY WON'T LEAVE CHRIS CHRISTIE'S WEIGHT ALONE
SNL has lampooned the New Jersey Governor's weight not just once, but several times. Comparing him to the Ghostbusters' Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and photoshopping junk food into his hands:
3. KANYE WEST WAS AFRAID THEY'D ATTACK KIM'S WEIGHT
SNL wanted West to perform as musical guest last year, but West was supposedly hesitant because he was afraid the show would take advantage of the moment to make fun of Kim Kardashian's pregnancy weight gain. An NBC source revealed "Kanye as musical guest is a great get for SNL but of course the writers want to push the envelope and take advantage of it with a Kim Kardashian skit. They have to tread lightly because Kanye hasn’t been happy with all the flack Kim’s been getting about her pregnancy weight gain.”
With the show's fat-joke track record, we don't blame West for being wary.
4. MELISSA MCCARTHY'S SKITS WERE NEARLY ALL FAT JOKES
Perhaps the most telling incident of how Dunham will be treated during her own hosting stint is by looking at the skits Melissa McCarthy was dealt the last time she hosted. She played a professional pizza eater, a bad dancer (fat people can't dance, duh!), and a woman who hits on her co-worker but it's funny because she's fat and ugly, obvs. One person summed it all up saying:
If SNL treated their own that way, it tells a lot about what they perceive as funny and where they'll be likely to take Dunham come March 8. Here's hoping Dunham has veto-power and will use it to elevate the show. Caving in order to continue the show's already disappointing history of weight-shaming wouldn't be the right call.
Watch McCarthy's professional pizza eater skit here and decide for yourself: