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Gabby Channels her Inner Benita Butrell on SNL

April 26, 2010

Gabby Battle!

Well the dust has settled on Gabourey Sidibe’s SNL appearance and to paraphrase Steve Harvey – who was parodied – “All the news about the appearance ain’t been good news.”

Other than a few Samberg bits, I haven’t found SNL more than golf chuckle worthy since the days Eddie Murphy; I’m well aware it’s been a long ass time since the days of Mr. Robinson’s Neighbor or Buckwheat. That said, the paucity of LULZ has made me seek out other forms of Late Saturday night entertainment – like repeatedly slamming my fingers in a car door. And despite new car models just not giving the satisfying crunch of bones as compared to Buicks of yore, it’s still a better entertainment option than SNL.

Still I felt compelled to scope out the scene, as it were. The highlights include:

  • Mediocre musical monologue set to that Cher song from Mermaids. Actually Mermaids is much funnier.
  • That Good Burger kid doing a riff on Steve Harvey that was about as nuanced as a drunk uncle imitating Pryor at a family reunion.
  • Gabby in some kind of unfunny homage to Benita Butrell and Oswald Bates in a skit entitled “Old Woman Yelling out Her Window”, which made me long for “I ain’t one to gossip, so you didn’t hear it from me!” and “Unfortunately, we could not impregnate everyone. It is simply beyond our colonic threshold” respectively.

Doesn’t SNL regard itself as “cutting edge”? If so, someone should tell them big, black women singing and dancing are no novelty on television. Even singing cheesy 60s songs!

I didn’t expect thoughtful discourse disguised as humor; I didn’t expect a weird minstrel – I’m sorry I meant menstrual show – either. I give SNL props for quickly capitalizing on the popularity of the Gabbyverse, but they get thumps on the head for execution.

Then again, what do I know? Maybe I’m just perpetrating the Jherri Curl activation and the vaginal secretions!

If you have access to hulu you can watch the whole thing here and judge for yourself.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2010 12:46 pm

    One of the problems I’ve long had with SNL (in all its incarnations) is when it strays from featuring comedy-oriented guest hosts. I didn’t watch the show (or any of the clips) so I can’t comment on Gabby’s appearance specifically, but generally it takes a whole lotta cowbell to make a sketch with a dramatically oriented guest even mildly amusing.

  2. April 26, 2010 12:58 pm

    That Good Burger kid doing a riff on Steve Harvey that was about as nuanced as a drunk uncle imitating Pryor at a family reunion.

    That made me LOL. I’m glad I didn’t watch this on Saturday night. I knew it would just be a disappointment.

  3. April 26, 2010 12:59 pm

    The problem here was they were writing to the controversy and not to the talents of this particular guest. They do that a lot.

  4. April 26, 2010 1:27 pm

    hmmm. i didn’t notice that. but maybe i need to watch it again. i enjoyed it a lot.

  5. April 26, 2010 1:35 pm

    @Lemonade – Gabby was chiefly utilized in a way best described as “Mammylicious”. The difference between In Living Color and SNL is the difference between cultural insiders and cultural outsiders creating content about “the other”.

    A Precious parody would have been far more “edgy” in terms of reflecting the tone of the show, but what they have done her with Gabby was kind of ridiculous. It wasn’t even fresh content, but rather tropes better explored on other comedy sketch shows.

  6. April 26, 2010 4:27 pm

    I feel like they just had her on there as kind of a gimmick, rather than actually being interested in her talents.

  7. April 26, 2010 4:33 pm

    I agree, Tasha. I have seen less famous hosts given much better material to work with. I remember when Claire Danes hosted long before she was stinking up the screen in T3 and she was so freaking hilarious.

    in The View skit, playing Debbie M, to Cokie Roberts, “May I call you Cokie Cola?”

  8. April 27, 2010 12:08 am

    hmm. you do have a point about the mammy stereotype.

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