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After RuPaul Hosts, SNL Reverts to Straight People Doing Gay Jokes

After RuPaul Hosts, SNL Reverts to Straight People Doing Gay Jokes

Mulaney

Being gay is again a punch line on the show.

Nbroverman

It was only last month that drag superstar RuPaul hosted Saturday Night Live, with many praising the show for highlighting a gay cultural icon.

It felt like a turning point, as the show has struggled to feature LGBTQ talent, with Emmy-winning star Kate McKinnon being a notable exception. Last year, as SNL cast its first Asian LGBTQ player -- Bowen Yang -- it also hired conservative comic Shane Gillis, who spouts racist and homophobic slurs in his routines (following an outcry, SNL released Gillis before he appeared on the show).

Similarily, the show's head writers, Colin Jost and Michael Che, also bring a very straight male dynamic to the Weekend Update segment. Che has been accused of transphobic and homophobic jokes -- he recently deadnamed Caitlyn Jenner and called her "fella" and made light of prison rape -- while Jost has bemoaned "identity politics" and made a crack on Update that nonbinary and trans people cost Hillary Clinton the presidency.

This straight sensibility was definitely in full force in Saturday's episode of SNL. Not only did Jost declare that Clinton should be "locked up" because she's launching a podcast, Che made a joke about Vice President Mike Pence happily fellating men as a solution to the coronavirus outbreak. The show repeatedly insinuates the homophobic Pence is gay. In Saturday's cold open, the VP (as played by Beck Bennett) declared the coronavirus is testing his faith, just like "dinosaur bones and Timothee Chalamet," before biting his lip.

Saturday's episode also featured a bizarre skit starring host John Mulaney, where he played the "foppish" brother to two scheming sisters, played by McKinnon and Aidy Bryant. Bennett again played gay, lusting after Mulaney's naval petty officer, to the anger of the sisters. Mulaney preened, bent over, sucked on a lollipop, and called himself a "pass-around party bottom." The skit ended with Bennett choosing "the twink" over the sisters. Everyone in the skit, other than McKinnon, is straight.

Nbroverman
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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.