John Belushi as a Japanese samurai. Julia Sweeney as the gender-ambiguous Pat. “Jane, you ignorant slut.” These memorable Saturday Night Live sketches challenged the boundaries of taste and political correctness to become TV classics. But would they survive today’s cancel culture in which woke identity politics has become the ultimate arbiter of comedy?
Saturday Night Live said Monday that it has fired Shane Gillis after old jokes surfaced showing the comedian using slurs against Asians and gays. Gillis, who had been hired just four days before, issued an apology, to no avail. Even Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang said Gillis shouldn’t be fired.
“We would benefit from being more forgiving than punitive. We are all human,” Yang tweeted.
If SNL producers took a look back at their own archives, they would have no choice but to cancel themselves. Here are seven memorable SNL sketches that wouldn’t pass muster today based on the show’s own woke standards and practices.
John Belushi in “Samurai Hotel”
Playing a samurai and shouted fake Japanese, the late John Belushi is guilty of two crimes against wokeness: yellow face and cultural appropriation.
The Ambiguously Gay Duo
This recurring animated sketch portraying superhero partners Ace and Gary is rife with unexamined homophobia.
Julia Sweeney as “Pat”
Sweeney’s character was so popular that the sketch became a movie in 1994. But her portrayal is a mockery of gender non-conforming individuals.
Billy Crystal as Sammy Davis Jr.
Black face. Enough said.
She’s Got a D!%k
Woke corporate culture was still in the future in 2013, when no one had heard of transphobia.
The late Chris Farley played an obese dancer auditioning for the Chippendales. Verdict: fat shaming.
“Jane, you ignorant slut.”
Playing workplace misogyny for laughs would earn Dan Aykroyd a trip to NBC’s Human Resources department today.