I’ve tried writing about this sketch in a couple different ways. First, it was going to be about the “last sketch of the night” tradition on Saturday Night Live, and how they’re always weird, and because it’s a bone Lorne throws to the writers after making them write the 45th “Mango” sketch, it’s almost always my favorite. Then I was going to try and analyze this like my post on the grape lady, analyzing the video point-by-hilarious-point on why this is such an awesome display of comedy. But really, your appreciation of this clip has the same odds as a coin flip.
I have shown this sketch to people who have loved it. Oh how we giggled so at all the various hijinks contained therein. We’ve gone around randomly quoting various sections to unsuspecting folks walking down the street, guffawing over both the situation we just created and fondly recalling the original sketch itself. On the contrary, I showed this sketch two to other friends of mine, friends with humor as sick and weird and debased as my own. The entire thing played out and–save for one reaction that’s a given–just gave nothing. Nothing at all. Not real disgust, some confused look-a-rounds, or a “whaaa?” Instead, they just watched, dumbfounded, said, “I don’t get it,” after it concluded, and quickly moved on to other things.
In my estimation, this is a genius bit of work right here. The dedication of Will Forte, Jason Sudeikis, and host Blake Lively to keep going with this ludicrous concept and to play it straight as an arrow (even as they are careening off the cliff of sanity) is remarkable on its own. The sketch itself–a general mindfuck with Orville Redenbaucher seemingly applying to be an astronaut–nearly outshines the fact that it’s a simple story about the wrongs of theft and the danger of lies. When someone asks you to not take a potato chip, it’s best to follow that simple instruction, or your dreams could be threatened. It’s also the story of redemption, and of a potato chip finding its way home.
I’m saying too much. It’s merely a sketch that contains Blake Lively, potato chips, an oddly uncomplicated astronaut training test, wood paneling, Will Forte’s mustache, an allegory based off one of the Ten Commandments, and has one of the best closing shots in any sketch ever, anywhere. And the fun part is, you might think it’s awful. So play the video, run the gauntlet, and let me know what you think in the comments. I’m eager to hear your thoughts and promise not to judge you either way.