An Open Letter To Saturday Night Live Regarding Unoriginal Hit-And-Run Jokes

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Allow me to start off by saying that this season is markedly better than its recent predecessors. Hader’s brilliance makes up for Armisen’s lack thereof. I don’t think anybody would argue that point, yourselves included. He’s a game-changer; more Stefon, for crissake.

That said, I took some issue with the March 3 episode hosted by Lindsay Lohan.

It wasn’t so much that she had to look off into the distance for cue-card reminders about plot lines from the movies in which she starred. That was, well, it wasn’t your fault, per se. She did alright under her flagging-career circumstances. And you did alright with what you had to work. Her hosting the show was a chance worth taking.

In doing alright with what you had to work, you enabled me to look past the first hit-and-run joke of the night, that of the 2012 Psychic Awards ceremony death roll in which you noted “Mysterio” died in a “hit-and-run accident.” The joke was on death rolls, psychic powers and knowing about your end before you’re gone. The skit worked. Power of the mind!

Where you totally pissed me off, however, was when you got around to “Delinquent Girl Teen Gang.” I’ve embedded it here from your website in case you’ve forgotten about it:

The only thing funny about this was the name “Skipper St. Junt.” Because it rhymes with cunt. I think that’s what you were doing there, right?

So anyway, we have Armisen — of course it comes back to that humorless hack — dressed as a woman (ahahaha, nobody’s ever done that before) getting hit by not one, not two, not three, but four cars.

Oh, the laugh-sign-prodded studio audience and/or canned-laughter sound enhancer, they roared. So funny, people getting mowed down, isn’t it? Wish wish hope hope a Nicole Brown Decapitation skit’s on the way!1!

Best I can gather, you wasted 4:30 of everybody’s time with the joke that:

• Getting hit by a car will make your butt hurt and mess up your hair the first time.

• It will tire you out and make you thirsty while your friends question your toughness the second time.

• It will mess with your head while you ask whether anybody saw a license plate the third time.

• And, it will render you unable to walk home after the fourth time.

Who thought that was funny? Best I can tell it somebody who just threw in the towel, saying, “Oh hell, we’ll just use Hader as a bumper on it. Hopefully everybody will be lulled into thinking this was a parody of old 50s movies and forget that the only discernible joke is the fact that someone got struck by four hit-and-run drivers.”

The hit-and-run joke worked for Mysterio because of the context. As did Kenan’s (or is it Kel’s?) and Lindsay’s AIDS joke in the scared-straight skit earlier in the show.

But this one, when the only joke is the crime itself, it’s the equivalent of having Tom Hanks’s Forrest Gump in the role Tom Hanks’s Andrew Beckett delivering the payoff line “the lesions covering my body look like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get when it opens up and oozes because you scratched it too much.”

You’re better than that, SNL. Which means you should be better than using hit-and-run collisions as a laughing matter. At least I thought you were.


Brian Hickey, guy with scars on his head from a 2008 hit-and-run
Philadelphia, PA

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