October 16, 2017

"Saturday Night Live" had a sketch designed to address the Harvey Weinstein story that was so obviously avoided the week before:

Here:



That's Leslie Jones as Viola Davis, Cecily Strong as Marion Cotillard, and Kate McKinnon as the fictional character Debette Goldry.

It's too late and I'd also say: too little.

They lined up some chairs, plunked female cast members and had them say there's a lot of sexual harassment in Hollywood and Harvey Weinstein is ugly.

Harvey Weinstein's ugliness was joked about in terms of how he looks, not what he has done and is accused of doing, which really is ugly.

The cheap joke, which could be used against any man, was that he was hanging upside down naked and he looked pretty much the same as if he were not upside down. A man's face is as ugly as genitalia. Notice all the problems:

1. Judging people by the way they look.

2. The baseline assumption that male genitalia is ugly (which undercuts the complaint about sexual harassment by trading on the notion that the male body is inherently repulsive and nothing a woman would want).

3. The lack of anything specific about Harvey Weinstein. (He is said to have done many things, but I don't think hanging upside down naked is one of them).

4. If the idea is that Harvey Weinstein is ugly, so no one would want to have sex with him, that actually sounds like a form of humiliation that has often been directed at women. It's like the terrible old rape jokes that responds to a rape accusation by talking about how unattractive the woman is, so who would rape her? (And some of that "Debette Goldry" material was supposed to be funny because she's physically unattractive — she's old (get it??) — and yet even she had experienced sexual harassment.)

Later in Saturday's show, in the "Weekend Update" section, there were a few Weinstein jokes and again the idea of his physical ugliness dominated. As the NYT described it:
Michael Che, the other co-anchor of “Weekend Update,” noted that the Weinstein scandal put comedians in a “tough spot” because it was hard to make jokes about sexual assault. Then, with a photo of Mr. Weinstein on the screen, Mr. Che added:
“But it’s so easy to make jokes about a guy that looks like this. I mean, he looks like chewed bubble gum rolled in cat hair.”
It's hard to make jokes that are actually on the subject of what Weinstein did wrong, so let's make jokes that could be made against him if he were a great guy. I wish Che had entered into the realm of self-deprecation and said something more like:

We know we have to make some jokes about Harvey Weinstein. We know because we got scorched in social media last week for weaseling out of it. Lorne Michaels said "It's a New York thing." What's a New York thing? Running away from humor that too hard to do? So we are scampering this week. The weasels are scampering, trying to come up with something we can say to make you laugh about sexual harassment, and I've got to admit, 99.9% of the ideas we came up with boiled down to the fact that Harvey Weinstein is ugly. We were coming up with material like "he looks like chewed bubble gum rolled in cat hair." It's like we were liberated to do jokes about physical ugliness because a guy who did horrible things is, fortunately, ugly. It was funny because half the people pitching the jokes to Lorne were also physically ugly. Maybe they knew so many jokes because they've been hearing them all their lives. Probably a lot you out there, staying home watching TV on Saturday night, are ugly too. And just saying that, I feel ugly... on the inside.

63 comments:

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

If Weinstein were a Republican donor - SNL would have no trouble writing jokes mocking him.

Weinstein is a HUGE Democrat and a HUGE democrat donor, so the democrat writers/democrat actors/NBC-DNC employees must tread carefully. and they do.

rehajm said...

They could have remade the Complicit ad.

rehajm said...

Perhaps there weren't enough actors to play all the characters. It would look like one of those old Coke ads.

MadisonMan said...

That women's film panel was distinctly unfunny. I stopped watching it halfway through, ending right after the Weinstein upside down.

I don't think the audience was appreciating it either.

David said...

He is ugly because he cultivated his ugliness. This in a world where beauty reigns. That's the interesting part.

tcrosse said...

Belushi could have had fun playing Weinstein. Happy days.

David said...

I do like the costumes on the actresses. Very clever staging.

Mountain Maven said...

Who watches SNL? Bunch a millennials and libs stuck in the past?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Michael Che

His name triggers me. He has to go.

Ray said...

More stuff on Trump than Weinstein. Seemed they called it and did the minimum.

Ken B said...

To Hollywood being ugly IS the real crime.

Assrat said...

>Who watches SNL? Bunch a millennials and libs stuck in the past?

I've got to wonder about that too. I can't recall the last time I've seen a meme traced to SNL. Certainly nothing since 1990.

On the other hand, I've heard jokes about expecting the Spanish Inquisition just last week.

rcocean said...

Exactly they don't want to do hard hitting satire that has any edge - when its a liberal.

Bring back Norm MacDonald.

Rick said...

Pussycat Dolls


I'm hoping to see a post on the Pusscat Dolls accusations. The accusations are morphing from one thing into another, it will be interesting to note who recognizes this.

Jon Burack said...

The politicizing of all of the culture is doing in the NFL. It is doing in Hollywood. And now it would seem it is doing in SNL. Oh, yes, SNL has always satirized politics. But the SNL people apparently do not realize that satirizing politics is not the same thing as politicizing satire. This skit was horribly flat and sour. It was as flat as it was not only because of the cheap use of ugliness to score hits, but because it strove so hard to make a political point - about ALL men, by the way, not about HC. It tried so hard to make the point that it failed to say anything at all about Harvey Weinstein himself, funny, satirical, or even meaningful. Last week, everyone was on SNL's case for not mentioning Harvey. I am not sure why SNL was obligated to do that. That pressure was also a form of politicizing the culture. I for one wish it would all stop. It's become a huge bore.

Jon Burack said...

HW, that is. Sorry, HC.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Harvey Weinstein successfully tarred liberals and particularly liberal feminists with the old joke of already having established what they were and thereafter only haggling about the price.

Bob Boyd said...

The way the left is responding to Weinstein being outed reminds me of a Drew Carrey joke.

One day this lion is up on top of a mountain fucking a zebra. He looks down and spots his lioness coming up and realizes she is about to catch him. So the lions says to the zebra, "Quick, act like I'm killing you!"

madAsHell said...

(which undercuts the complaint about sexual harassment by trading on the notion that the male body is inherently repulsive and nothing a woman would want)

Undercuts?....as in diminish? I would think "inherently repulsive and nothing a woman would want" would re-enforce the sexual harassment claim.

I thought the joke was heading into ugly Jew territory.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

The obvious target - if the SNL cast and writers were honest and talented (I know, I know) would be to satirize themselves. Looked at dispassionately, they would have identified the humor in how hard it was for them to come up with comedy about Weinstein that would meet all of the criteria they set for themselves when treating the topic of Weinstein. There is nothing more absurd and more open to satire than the amount of logic-twisting and self-censorship they have to accept in order to try to satirize the affaire du Weinstein. That absurdity in itself should signal to them the real opportunity for comedy.

Martin said...

Saturday Night Live? What's that? There used to be a TV show of that name back in the 1970s and 1980s, but didn't that go off the air about 15 or 20 years ago after it totally stopped being entertaining?

What? It's back? Oh, it never left?

Wow, who knew people wanted to waste their time watching something that bad just because 30 cast-members ago it was funny?

SDaly said...

Missed a criticism of the "ugly" angle - the idea that attractive men should be able to get away with sexual assault, and that women should be flattered by the attention of good looking men.

Mattman26 said...

My goodness, almost nauseating in its unfunniness.

D said...

A skit where HW is in one room being awarded golden statues and then another room (darkened) where he carries out his criminal acts and a third room on the other side where he meets with his lawyer saying "what do I do to get out of this" and a fourth room off that where he hands sacks of money, wiley coyote like, to various clintons. .... And then he starts running around, confusing which room he is suppose to do what exactly in. Which i think is a staple of skit comedy isnt it?

Not funny, perhaps, but an attempt at farce, to highlight the sad fact it went on for decades.

Took me longer to write than to think up.

Laslo Spatula said...

MC Bob: "Hello America! Welcome to the Game Show straight from Hollywood -- 'Casting Couch!' We have three contestants vying for a role, and a big-name Hollywood Producer who can get them that role. Let's begin..."

Producer: "Hello, ladies. Let's start by telling me how committed you will be to this role."

Actress One: "I will give you the best performance I possibly can!"

MC Bob: "That's a good start, Actress Number One. How about you, Actress Number Two...?"

Actress Two: "Uh... I'll give my best performance, too. I'll really try hard!"

MC Bob: "We're witnessing a commitment to effort, I see. How about you Actress Number Three?"

Actress Three: "Blow-Job, Bob."

MC Bob: "Blow-Job, Actress Number Three?"

Actress Three: "Yes, Bob. I am willing to give the Producer a Blow-Job."

Producer: "I LIKE that commitment!"

MC Bob: "Actresses One and Two, it looks like you're falling behind. What would you like to add to your statements?"

Actress One: "I guess I'll give a Blow-Job, too, Bob."

MC Bob: "Sure, sure. And what about you, Actress Number Two?"

Actress Two: "I... I just want to act. Acting is my dream."

MC Bob: "What do YOU say, Actress Number Three...?"

Actress Three: "Anal, Bob. I'll do anal."

MC Bob: "It looks like Actress Three is running away with it here..."

Producer: "I LIKE anal."

MC Bob: "Ladies, the man likes anal. Is there anything you'd add to your efforts, Actresses One and Two?"

Actress One: "I... I can't go there, Bob."

MC Bob: "It looks like Actress Number One is conceding the race. What about you, Actress Number Two?"

Actress Two: "I just want to be an actress. I want to act, and be respected for my acting."

MC Bob: "So what you are saying is 'No anal', Actress Number Two?"

Actress Two: "I think I just want to go home to Kansas, Bob..."

MC Bob: "Well, it looks like Actress Three is our Winner today! How about our Big Hollywood producer tells her about the part she has won..."

Producer: "Yeah! Actress Number Three, you're going to play a girl from Nebraska who comes to Hollywood in search of her dreams, but becomes a filthy whore..."

I am Laslo.

Bob Ellison said...

"Ugly" works as a joke because most of us men (and probably lots of women) think we are indeed ugly. We're not all Brad Pitt. And by the way, why is that guy considered pretty? I think he's as ugly as the rest of us.

StephenFearby said...

Last week's SNL's cold open was yet another stupid, not funny Trump impersonation by Alex Baldwin. Terminated with the magic power of the remote.

The Weinstein clip kindly provided by our blogress was awkward, strained and even worse (if possible) than the Baldwin impersonation, but in a different way.

Here was the chance to dump creatively on the Hollywood climate that produced and protected Weinstein (and others like him).

The terribly awkward and strained script didn't make this happen.

Context from The Telegraph (2014):

Westminster 'chumocracy' protected their own over paedophilia, MP says

'A Westminster “chumocracy” has “protected their own” and prevented investigations into allegations of paedophilia, David Cameron’s child abuse adviser has said.

Claire Perry, a Government whip, said that Westminster still consists of “too many people with the same interests and the same out-of-touch sense of entitlement coming together to protect their own”.

Her comments come after a series of allegations of sex abuse by politicians and other members of paedophile rings.'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10960555/Westminster-chumocracy-protected-their-own-over-paedophilia-MP-says.html


In other important news of the day:

Hillary Clinton CANCELS multiple TV and radio appearances on her UK book tour after 'falling over and hurting her foot' in London

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4984972/Clinton-apologetic-missing-BBC-interview.html

Unfortunately, this can happen when you trip over the truth.

Bad Lieutenant said...

The obvious target - if the SNL cast and writers were honest and talented (I know, I know) would be to satirize themselves. Looked at dispassionately, they would have identified the humor in how hard it was for them to come up with comedy about Weinstein that would meet all of the criteria they set for themselves when treating the topic of Weinstein. There is nothing more absurd and more open to satire than the amount of logic-twisting and self-censorship they have to accept in order to try to satirize the affaire du Weinstein. That absurdity in itself should signal to them the real opportunity for comedy.



Riff on the Twilight Zone episode where the kid has to be humored and patronized and obeyed because otherwise he wishes you into the cornfield? Easy peasy.

Laslo Spatula said...

rcocean said..
"Bring back Norm MacDonald."

Fuck yeah.

I am Laslo.

Rick said...

SDaly said...
Missed a criticism of the "ugly" angle - the idea that attractive men should be able to get away with sexual assault, and that women should be flattered by the attention of good looking men.


I don't think anyone said this. They use his ugliness to eliminate the possibility any of these women are actually attracted to him.

Dave D said...

SDaly:

SNL did a GREAT skit related to that with Tom Brady a while back. Hilarious, because he basically walks around semi-nude, gropes a woman and no one complains, yet the unattractive coworker gets reported for making eye contact with the office females. SNL USED to be rather funny.....before they decided to be partisan.

https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/sexual-harassment/2751966

Bob Ellison said...

There's an ugly understory to this.

MaxedOutMama said...

Yeah, it is lame. But they got nuthin'. Nothing that they can afford to say, that is.

The natural way to go on this story is to target the cover up. We all know that there are creeps out there. The question is how this creep got to be a criminal creep this long with immunity. They are part of the system which allows it, and they cannot meaningfully combat that system. If you look at the skit closely, that's basically what they are saying with it.

rhhardin said...

Harvey Weinstein's ugliness was joked about in terms of how he looks, not what he has done and is accused of doing, which really is ugly.

Some are merely crimes. Otherwise just a weird guy doing his thing. You can't do a proper joke about it unless it's about men and women in general, which winds up self-deprecation with various degrees of humor.

Perhaps the women's horror is horror at being attracted by what women are attracted by. It's so unfeminist.

That's how the 'with a passed-out Harvey Weinstein on top of me' joke worked.

William said...

I've read far funnier comments here than anything presented by SNL. I suspect we have a different sense of humor than those pros..... SNL is part of the culture that produced Harvey Weinstein. Fish never consider the possibility that they're all wet.

n.n said...

They're known class diversitists. They judge people by the "color of their skin" as a matter of principle (i.e. character).

JMS said...

I just finished reading the October 23 Time magazine cover story. Jill Filipovic spends two pages praising the "brave" women who spoke up, but ends by admitting "the Rodger Aileses of the world are easy to dismiss, and their downfalls are easy to celebrate. The men who are supposed to be on our side, though-- these men are the ones who break our hearts."

Yeah, those darn heartbreakers. From additional reporting we now know the victims were telling their stories, filing formal complaints and warning others for 30 years, but it was the men--and women--in the media who ignored their stories and refused to call out Weinstein.

Women blew the whistle on Ailes and O'Reilly, and the media instantly, happily reported it. But the media wasn't interested in left-wing harassers until men started talking about Cosby (the comedian Hannibal Buress) and Weinstein (Seth MacFarlane and other comedians going back to 2013 and now Ronan Farrow. The NYT doesn't count, it published the story only because it didn't want to be scooped). Women didn't just decide now to speak out about Cosby and Weinstein, the media just decided it was no longer in their best interests to protect the rapists.

I also learned from Filipovic that the victims weren't only afraid of Weinstein, but of being blacklisted by other studios and the talent agencies.

Maybe that would be an interesting story for some reporter: why the media don't seem to care when progressive men rape progressive women, and why the film industry would blacklist an actress who said she was raped. Aren't progressives always telling us we have to believe the victim?

How can famous, prominent progressives like Ashley Judd think they won't be believed by fellow progressives? Turns out progressives have no more moral authority on sexual harassment and assault then anyone else.

rhhardin said...

Kleist's The Marquise of O has a woman marrying the man who raped her, each being rescued from themselves by the other.

rhhardin said...

Rush is running a Weinstein joke skit.

rhhardin said...

Clinton counseling Weinstein, in therapy, offering Hillary on the casting couch as a remedy.

Weinstein winds up going for Hillary.

rhhardin said...

Or Hillary winds up going for Weinstein. Not clear. Which is the better joke.

Sebastian said...

Slight rewrite is in order:

"Notice all the problems:

1. Feminist progs judging people by the way they look, when it is convenient.

2. Feminist progs causally slamming men with the baseline assumption that male genitalia is ugly while professing outrage about any similar comment about anyone else."

@JMS: "How can famous, prominent progressives like Ashley Judd think they won't be believed by fellow progressives?" Oh, they know they will be believed. Everybody knew anyway. But they also know that for progs, politics comes first. They have their priorities straight. Until very recently, when the dam broke, taking down HW was an attack on prog politics and the Clinton empire. The Media-Political Complex protects its own. Question remains whether this is an isolated instance of losing control or a more permanent setback.

Sam L. said...

SNL... It's been 30 years or more since I last watched it.

William said...

Suppress the snark reflex. Can someone tell me how Hollywood and the entertainment industry can distance themselves from the Weinstein scandal without looking hypocritical, ineffectual, or fatuous. I just don't think it can be done........Ronan Farrow looks clean and brave, and Rose McGowan's indignation looks worthy and righteous. The rest of them look weak........I wonder how they'll handle the Weinstein situation at the Academy Awards. Like the Holocaust and slavery, the predations of Harvey are in that class of atrocity that cannot be joked about. I myself think the concept of Harvey jerking off into a potted plant is inherently comical, but that just shows how deplorable I am and how much more work Hollywood has to do in raising my consciousness......I suspect that Hollywood will display lots of piety and perhaps a little contrition at the Awards ceremony. No standing ovations for Polanski this year.

Kevin said...

The weasels are scampering, trying to come up with something we can say to make you laugh about sexual harassment, and I've got to admit, 99.9% of the ideas we came up with boiled down to the fact that Harvey Weinstein is ugly.

That's because to make fun of Harvey properly would include making fun of those who knew and did nothing - it would include making fun of themselves.

And SNL does not do self-deprecation. To do so would be to erode their moral authority, and their remaining audience tunes in each Saturday night to get a good dose of moral authority.

To laugh at Weinstein is to laugh at SNL, which is to undermine the pulpit from which it preaches. That cannot be abided.

Sebastian said...

"Can someone tell me how Hollywood and the entertainment industry can distance themselves from the Weinstein scandal without looking hypocritical, ineffectual, or fatuous." Yes: they will escalate: it is about all men, you see. Not Weinstein, not Hollywood, not progs, not the MSM: men. Down with men, up with women.

Caligula said...

"Harvey Weinstein is ugly ... . Judging people by the way they look."

Isn't Kissinger credited with the quote, "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac"? Weinstein may be even uglier than Kissinger, but, viewed in this light perhaps even that rat-like ugliness could be seen as ... exiting?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

rcocean said...Exactly they don't want to do hard hitting satire that has any edge - when its a liberal.

Bring back Norm MacDonald.


Beautiful point! One of the big reasons they got rid of Norm was that he wouldn't stop going after OJ Simpson--the guy a civil court found likely responsible for the brutal murder of two people. Don Ohlmeyer was a good friend of OJ's and got Norm taken off the Weekend Update desk and writer Jim Downey fired. He did that because his famous friend OJ was being made fun of by a comedian on a comedy show.

Wiki: Don Ohlmeyer Norma Macdonald controversy

But remember: the Media is full of brave truth tellers afflicting the powerful and comforting the powerless.

Bonus: Ohlmeyer was a professor of communications at Pepperdine, an ombudsman for ESPN, and won more than a dozen Emmys (including a lifetime achievement award). One of the Media's finest, surely.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The first smart Republican to false-flag a campaign of #MoveOn.Org re: Weinstein is going to get a donation from me. I will write that check.

That's what the nice people decided in the case of ol' Bill Clinton, remember? Sure, he might have done some bad stuff, and lied about it, but it was "just sex" and it's a family matter and after all we really ought to all just #MoveOn.

Please please please someone start that campaign for Weinstein. Please.

Gahrie said...

SNL... It's been 30 years or more since I last watched it.

The last episode I watched was the first episode with Michael Anthony Hall in it.

William Chadwick said...

One thing I don't get about the Harvey Weinstein story is even when you get a woman--even a beautiful actress--to have sex with you because you've threatened her career or waved a bag of gold in front of her, how satisfying can it be? This is my feeling about prostitution in general. One of the fun things to me about sex is how the woman and I are in (to use a phrase from THE GREAT GATSBY) "ecstatic cahoots" about what is happening between us. After someone like Weinstein gets his way, he's still left with the realization that he is one fat, ugly bastard, who could be the Simpson's Comic Book Guy is he weren't in the entertainment business.

Darrell said...

Rose McGowan passed on a $6 million payday from Lisa Bloom. All she had to do was say Weinstein changed and support him going forward. That takes guts.

Ben Calvin said...

How hard can it be to write a skit of Weinstein calling up Bill Clinton for relationship advice? With a walk on by Woody Allen?

The Godfather said...

Suppose George Clooney had been accused of doing everything that Harvey Weinstein is accused of doing? How upset would we be?

Ugly is central to the scandal.

Kevin Weiss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin said...

Suppose George Clooney had been accused of doing everything that Harvey Weinstein is accused of doing? How upset would we be?

Ugly is central to the scandal.

I think you mean it's central to the coverup. Ben and Casey Affleck, for instance, have both been accused of similar actions but are not being discussed on SNL.

As long as you connect "sexually harassing actresses" with "ugly people" your mind won't consider the beautiful guilty people at all.

Also, not how they moved from "Harvey is ugly" directly to Trump. Since they're constantly commenting on Trump's appearance, they're subliminally linking him to Harvey at the same time.

These aren't coincidences.

William said...

I don't think SNL is the right venue fir Harvey. He should go on Between Two Ferns to get his side of the story out.

tcrosse said...

He should go on Between Two Ferns to get his side of the story out.

He should come on Between Two Ferns.

Jesse James said...

I recall Ted Cruz's comments about "New York values" during the campaign.

I guess that's what Lorne Michaels meant by it being a New York thing.

EMyrt said...

So, with all the stories coming out, why is it so hard to find out just how dinky Harvey's dingus is?

Bad Lieutenant said...

how dinky Harvey's dingus is?


I dunno, he's got hands like baseball mitts.

openidname said...

Not that long ago, in the wake of every big news story, there would be jokes on the internet. Even if it was "too soon," like after 9/11. Now, if you Google "jokes Harvey Weinstein," all you get are stories about how James Corden and others are getting in trouble for making Harvey Weinstein jokes. Apparently, even if Weinstein is the butt of the joke, you're not allowed to find any humor in sexual harassment.

The Onion has run one (though only one) relevant article, "'How Could Harvey Weinstein Get Away With This?’ Asks Man Currently Ignoring Sexual Misconduct Of 17 Separate Coworkers, Friends, Acquaintances.'" Apparently it can get away with it only because the theme underlying the humor is that all men are by nature insensitive oppressors.

indiana118 said...

"I myself think the concept of Harvey jerking off into a potted plant is inherently comical"

There's the basis for a funny SNL skit right there.

Spend 10 minutes brainstorming what you could do with compulsive masturbation and potted plants. (Remember your set-ups, repetition and at least one "topper" after the big punch line.)

Then imagine what a trained comedy writing team ought to be able to come up with.