Saturday Night Live had a lot of great Anna Kendrick moments this week: from her Disney debut to her audition for Pharrell, Anna had many chances to show off her pipes and her hilarious improv skills. But there was one SNL sketch missing in the sea of Anna-and-Pharrell goodness, and it would have taken Saturday's episode to an even even funnier place.
The sketch is called "Nickelodeon Show" and seems to be based on the high-energy ensemble shows that made Nick so popular in the '90s. It centers on a TruTV expose about drugging child actors with speed on a Nickelodeon shop called ZAP!, which is reminiscent of shows like All That and The Amanda Show. The sketch reaches into some meta-humor, too, since Keenan Thompson, former Nick star of Keenan and Kell, is featured heavily.
It's likely the sketch was cut to make room for more musical interactions between Pharrell and Anna. And naturally, their "audition" sketch was adorable, and proved to be a way less offensive alternative to a series of off-color jokes about child actors on drugs.
But the precariously-worded quips about "cracked-out" child actors are exactly why SNL should revisit the dark humor like that of the "Nickelodeon Show." The expose format felt a bit more reverent than a simple fake ad or a sketch showing children using drugs, but at the same time, it still managed to step into dangerous, and therefore more exciting territory for SNL humor. The pairing of comfortable nostalgia with uncomfortably crazy performances by Anna Kendrick and crew forced this sketch into uncharted waters, and I hope they revisit this level of dark humor very soon, instead of sticking with safe, happy-go-lucky sketches.
Check out the "Nickelodeon Show" here: