Top 10 Funniest Saturday Night Live Skits That Would Not Get Made Today

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Top 10 Funniest Saturday Night Live Skits That Would Not Get Made Today

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: William Regot
They got past standards and practices in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s, but these are all classic “SNL” skits that wouldn't fly today. For this list, we're looking at both sketches and recurring skits from “SNL” that just wouldn't pass muster anymore because of modern social mores. Our countdown includes Canteen Boy, Samurai Hotel, It's Pat, and more!
Transcript
Things have changed. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Classic SNL Skits That Wouldn’t Fly Today.

For this list, we’re looking at both sketches and recurring skits from “SNL” that just wouldn’t pass muster anymore because of modern social mores.

#10: Canteen Boy


This Adam Sandler character is probably best known for appearing in a sketch when Alec Baldwin co-hosted in 1994. Baldwin plays a predatory scoutmaster who takes an interest in Canteen Boy, and poor Canteen Boy is made uncomfortable by his advances. Viewers were upset that “SNL” would make light of pedophelia and molestion, and future broadcasts of the sketch showed that Canteen Boy was actually not a child, but merely a 27-year-old man child. Still, given today’s sensitive climate around sexual harassment and assault, it would be hard to see “SNL” doing a sketch similar to this.

#9: Lyle, the Effeminate Heterosexual


Dana Carvey played this suburbanite dad twice, in 1989 and 1992. The premise of the sketches is that all of Lyle’s friends and family assume Lyle is gay because of his outward appearance, but actually, he’s straight. Then, he’s confused as to why anyone would think such a thing, completely unaware of the signals he’s sending. Views on the LGBTQ+ community have changed since the last “Lyle” sketch aired, with the public being more accepting. Not only is being gay not seen as a big deal, but mocking stereotypes found in a “Lyle” sketch would also draw anger.

#8: The Situation Room: Tiger Woods' Accidents


When Tiger Woods was caught up in a cheating scandal in 2009, “SNL” did a sketch based on allegations that Woods’s then-wife, Elin Nordegren, attacked him with a golf club. In the sketch, Woods stands by his wife addressing the media about the subject. Everytime Tiger says something that angers Elin, she attacks him off-screen, subjecting him to further injuries. Woods then explains away the injuries by saying he was “clumsy,” much like a domestic abuse victim. The sketch drew criticism for the way it handled domestic abuse, especially since it aired during the same episode that had Rihanna as a musical guest. The topic has always been taboo, but today, audiences are more mindful of the subject than they were even in 2009.

#7: The Coconut Bangers Ball


In the first sketch where Will Ferrell plays Robert Goulet, the crooner is covering the “Thong Song” by Cisco and “Big Poppa” by the Notorious B. I. G. The problem is that those songs contain versions of the n-word, which Goulet says in full. Back then, it was merely shocking that Ferrell’s character would be that out of touch and shameless, but now, it would be unacceptable. If Shane Gillis was let go from “SNL” for saying a racial slur on a podcast, do you think a white cast member can get away with saying the n-word on a sketch today?

#6: D*** in a Box


For the 2006 holiday special, Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg get frisky and festive and proffer up some very special Christmas gifts for their significant others: each offers his “junk in a box.” The early-’90s-styled R & B singers played by Timberlake and Sandberg really sell this notion, utterly convinced that this would be a thoughtful gift to show your lover you care. After it was released, “D*** in a Box” was celebrated in pop culture and won an Emmy in 2007. However, the outlandish romantic gesture in the #metoo era has uncomfortable overtones of the unwarranted harassment many women face.

#5: High Stakes Japanese Game Show


This sketch finds Chris Farley as an American tourist competing on a horrific Japanese game show where contestants are mutilated or tortured if they don’t answer questions correctly. All of the cast members in the sketch are white, including the ones who play Japanese characters, and most of the Japanese words that are used are gibberish with the occasional real word thrown in. Today, sketches where white actors play Asian characters, such as the 2008 sketch which showed a Japanese version of “The Office”, would be seen as mocking Asians.

#4: Samurai Hotel


This is yet another example of a white cast member playing an Japanese character who speaks gibberish. Played by John Belushi, Samurai Futaba worked an assortment of jobs, including hotel clerk and deli worker, and he always kept his trusty katana by his side. Short tempered, the samurai performed his tasks with intensity and often pulled out his katana. While we can still look back and marvel at Belushi yelling like a lunatic and lashing out with his weapon, the mainstream public nowadays has turned against white comedians acting out broad stereotypes of other races and cultures.

#3: It's Pat


The premise of this recurring sketch was that nobody could tell if Pat was male or female. When clues pointed one way, they were immediately undercut by new information that Pat gave out that left the answer ambiguous. Somehow, “SNL” got enough mileage out of this character to create multiple sketches in the 1990s, and a full length feature film. Critics, including producer of the TV show “Transparent,” Jill Soloway, see Pat as an object of ridicule because the character doesn’t conform to a specific gender norm. Julia Sweeney, the actress who played Pat, doesn’t quite see it that way, but understands how others do.

#2: Racist Word Association Interview


The seventh episode of “SNL”, which was hosted by Richard Pryor, featured this sketch about an uncomfortable job interview. As part of the interview, the applicant, played by Pryor, and the hiring manager, played by Chevy Chase, do a word association game. The words Chase’s character gives out as part of the exercise start out innocently enough with offerings like “tree” and “rain”, but then they devolve into racial slurs, including the n-word. As we already noted, there is simply no way a white actor would be allowed to use the n-word in a sketch today.

#1: Regis Philbin Holds Auditions for a New Co-Host


No, this ain’t about Regis. But during an “SNL” sketch back in 2000, where Regis is looking for a new co-host, Jimmy Fallon does an impersonation of Chris Rock, which involves putting on blackface. Blackface has become 100% socially unacceptable in any form, and Fallon became the target of criticism when people brought up his past incident of blackface. Also, crucially, SNL has faced criticism for its lack of racial representation in its cast, which it has tried to address over the years by adding a more diverse array of talent. So they’re not about to let a white actor play a black person in any sketch.
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