Brow Beat

Saturday Night Live Discovers the Secret Ingredient to Staging the Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Christmas pageants are an inevitable, inevitably terrible part of the holiday season, but as Barbara Robinson knew, they can sometimes be tolerable if—and only if—everything goes horribly wrong. That’s just what happened in this Saturday Night Live sketch, in which a llama saves Christmas by appearing in a nativity pageant in the role of a camel, then saves Christmas again by getting a gigantic llama-sized erection. It’s great to see a Saturday Night Live llama graduate from running gag to featured player, and host Kevin Hart and the rest of the cast do a great job of playing off their new co-star.

But just what was going on behind that blanket? To find out, I consulted Llama and Alpaca Care: Medicine, Surgery, Reproduction, Nutrition, and Herd Health, where I discovered the following facts about llamas:

The camelid penis is fibroclastic and is retracted into its sheath via a prescrotal sigmoid flexur. The length of the penis ranges from 35 to 45 cm in llamas and alpacas. The penis is cylindrical, gradually decreasing in diameter from its root at the ischiatic arch to the neck of the glans penis (collum glandis, preputial reflection). The penis originates…

Ok, we’re just going to throw a blanket over that block quote and move along like it never happened. As you have probably noticed, Slate articles rarely incorporate clinical descriptions of llama penises, and I am coming to realize that this lack of llama penis articles was less a “grave oversight” and more of a “sensible editorial stance,” so I hope you’ll forgive this error. There are many articles on Slate that do not include facts about llama penises, and I’d encourage you to read them, lest you draw mistaken conclusions about Slate’s editorial focus. In the meantime, let’s talk about something other than llama penises. How’s politics? Do you like reading about politics? How about we make a little deal: you tell anyone who asks that this article was about politics, and I won’t tell anyone you ended up reading an article about llama penises.