Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Gerard Butler Edition

Last night’s SNL was definitely one of the season’s high points, although that surely says more about the season’s overall direness than the episode’s quality. That being said, Gerard Butler was a completely competent host, game for seemingly anything, and blessed with excellent timing. Most of the sketches were at least bearable, and it only one dipped into utter awfulness. Well, twice if you count Smuggy Smuggerson’s Weekend Update, but his eight minutes is always the death of laughter, so I’ve stopped counting it as an actual part of the show.

So, on to the objectability!

For a second week in a row were were blessed with a dearth of rape jokes, meaning that they just need to stay away for one more week and I can stop watching it like a hawk!

This week did see the return of homophobia-based humor, though, to the show’s discredit. Although not as much as a synopsis of the episode might suggest.

The two sketches in question both revolved around Obama’s recent flirtation with repealing the don’t ask/don’t tell thing and letting gays into the military. The first sketch, which I’m counting, is the ‘gay guys from Jersey’, where the only joke continues to be ‘wow, isn’t it uncomfortable that they’re gay!’ Making it kind of the definition of homophobia.

The second sketch was a joke about the movie ‘300’, with Butler playing Leonides as a wishy-washy Obama-type, worrying about the optics of the policy change while oblivious to the fact that his army is already entirely gay. I can’t count this sketch as homophobia, though, since Obama was the target, rather than the gays, and the fact that Sparta actually did have an all-gay army makes the sketch less of an exaggeration than it otherwise would have been. Hell, the sketch treated the Spartans with more realism than the movie.

So the count for the episode was:

Rape – 0
Homophobia – 1

As for the show itself it was mostly flat. The Rock Obama showed up to reprise the exact sketch he’d performed last time, albeit without the ‘it was all a dream’ cop-out ending. There was only one truly dire sketch, unsurprisingly starring Kristen Wiig, and Gerard Butler was an affable, entertaining presence. I’d go so far as to say it’s the best debut performance from a host since John Hamm last year, but Hamm had much better material to work with, so it’s kind of hard to fairly judge their performances.

Until next week (when maybe we get to retire the rapewatch!), I’ll be here, patiently awaiting Seth "Smuggy Smuggerson" Meyers’ retirement.

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