Ya Built a Bad Boat
Image Source: NBC via Vulture
As a longtime fan of Saturday Night Live (aging myself, but the Farley/Spade/Sandler/Rock era still rules in my book), it’s hard to pretend that I still have the same unconditional love for every sketch and character that I did when I had the youthful circadian rhythm to actually watch the show “live” as opposed to on TiVo a few days later. And while the pre-Biden administration offered endless topical fodder for the late night show, the “downside” (if you can even call it that) of the current calmer, gentler presidency is the fact that there are fewer gaffes and puzzling decisions to lampoon in front of a live audience.
What this means is that the current season of SNL has had to rely far more on evergreen, non-current-events-driven concepts for its comedy. One successful example of this occurred recently with featured cast member Bowen Yang (of Las Culturistas podcast fame) making an appearance at the Weekend Update desk as the Iceberg that sank the Titanic, on the anniversary of the notorious disaster. Played as a celebrity interviewee who agreed to the appearance only under the condition of no questions asked about “the sinking,” the hilarious four and a half minute segment perfectly illustrates how comedy gold can be struck when the premise is unabashedly silly/absurd, and the actors truly commit to their roles and just go for it.
Disclosing his intent of only being on the program to promote his new album (yep), the Iceberg flips out on anchor Colin Jost after being pestered by one too many off-limit questions about the whole Titanic debacle. Hearing an iceberg blame casualties on the water is an unexpected and creative twist; after all, no one says they were “iceberged,” he reasons…they drowned. And of course the ultimate finger pointing should rightfully fall on the actual builder of the “bad boat,” White Star Line. To quote the Iceberg, “that’s on YOU.”
Ridiculous and outlandish, the segment reminded me how fun the show can be when it moves away from low hanging fruit and veers into the straight up creative absurdity that set it apart from the very beginning
Posted by Karen