Saturday Night Live is making some strange editorial decisions lately, both in terms of the catastrophically unfunny skits they’ve been airing and the genuinely funny skits that they haven’t been airing. (It’s like jazz: you gotta watch the sketch comedy they’re not making.) This Kyle Mooney-Beck Bennett sketch from last weekend’s Gal Gadot show never aired, and it really, really should have. The sketch takes a turn from its initial premise, but the initial premise isn’t bad: Mooney and Bennett doing a silly rap about the audacity of Gadot eating their last French fry is, if not hilarious, at least funnier than SNL’s batting average so far this year. And there’s an attention to detail in the rap video part of this sketch worth savoring: not just the right aspect ratio, or even the addition of VHS scan lines, but the ultra–blown-out lighting in the apartment shots that was the hallmark of a certain era in music. But the way the real world increasingly intrudes on Mooney and Bennet’s rap fantasia is hilarious and terrifying, even if the sketch doesn’t quite have the courage of its convictions at the end.
On first viewing, Bennett and Mooney’s characters seem to be the butt of the joke: They’re so into rap videos (and French fries) that they’re completely oblivious to the world falling apart all around them. But on a rewatch, it seems obvious that they’re heroes: They’re so into rap videos (and French fries) that they’re completely oblivious to the world falling apart all around them. All of which is to say that, in a year when the news is alternately terrifying, soul-deadening, and tragic (and will probably get worse before it gets better), it’s important to keep your eyes open, speak out, and take action, but it’s also important not to lose track of the silly bullshit that brings you joy, whether that’s living in a 1980s-style music video like Bennett and Mooney’s characters or making parodies of 1980s-style music videos like Bennett and Mooney. On that note, here is some semi-related silly bullshit that I love: Strongbad and Coach Z explaining one of the production secrets behind every great rap video: