Thursday, March 29, 2012

5 Skits SNL's First Lesbian Cast Member Might Have To Politely Laugh Off

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:56 PM

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After 37 years of shows rife with lesbian jokes, Saturday Night Live has finally hired its first openly lesbian cast member, Kate McKinnon. The hire is nothing short of a celebration for gay women in comedy, but coming to SNL after its history of using gay women as comedic fodder is kind of like showing up to a party where everyone has already been talking about you. The show might have meant well, even when making jokes about the LGBT community, but the situation is still a little awkward—especially when watching a "lesbian" Charles Barkley in a dress come out to her disbelieving friends. Here are five lesbian sketches SNL's newest cast member might have to politely laugh off.

1) "Joann's Announcement"
It's pretty clear what happened here: Charles Barkley, the 6-foot-6 former professional basketball player was hosting, and SNL writers had to find a way to put him in a dress. That's pretty much the only marginally entertaining thing about this sketch, and it's not even really funny enough to justify the whole scene. Meanwhile, in order to keep Barkley on screen in drag for as long as possible, SNL writers made his character a woman who comes out to her friends while they pelt her with comments like, "I'm shocked!" and "You're such a girly-girl." OMG, a dude in a dress.

2) "The Suze Orman Show"
Lesbian comedian Jane Lynch appeared in this sketch alongside Kristen Wiig's Suze Orman, but their reminiscing over wild college days and joking about Orman's sexual orientation gets old pretty quickly.

3) The 1992 Lesbian Christmas Skit
This might be one of SNL's most uncomfortable lesbian skits, as its humor relies solely on the parade of every butch lesbian stereotype ever. Low voices, power tools and absent punchlines. Groan.

4) Ellen Page's "Primo Lesbian" Skit
"I just felt like an oil lamp that hadn't been lit. And now I'm burning with sister fire," Ellen Page says to her boyfriend (played by Andy Samberg) after a revelatory Melissa Etheridge concert. (Apologies for video quality—we couldn't find a more primo version.)

5) "Gingey"
Once again, SNL rolls out the ambiguous lesbian trope, only this time the lesbian-in-question is fully supported by a grandmother character played by Betty White in the corner. It's 1904, and the Amy Poehler character's sisters are trying to get her to go to a dance with the captain of the football team while all Poehler wants to do is stay home and catch frogs. "That girl is a lesbian," White announces above her needlework. "You know, if I could go back in time, I would lez it up 24 hours. And believe me, one thing I would not miss: balls."

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