‘SNL’s Most Racist Moments, According to Reddit

Turns out 50 years of edgy comedy don’t always age well
‘SNL’s Most Racist Moments, According to Reddit

As anyone who’s watched Saturday Night Live for decades knows, some of its sketches have … not gotten better over time. To prove the point, u/CaptainPajamaShark hopped on Reddit’s u/LiveFromNewYork this week to ask the question:What are some racist SNL sketches that have not aged well?” To get the ball rolling, u/CaptainPajamaShark threw out Dana Carvey’s Chinese proprietor of a pet chicken shop.


But it gets worse. Here are other racist SNL sketches through the years, according to Redditors.

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Word Association

No sketch inspired more debate than the Chevy Chase/Richard Pryor classic, featuring a psychological test during a job interview that eventually exposes the Chase character’s true intentions. 

The Reddit debate wasn’t around whether the sketch was racist — many characterized it as antiracist — but more about how it would be perceived today if it was allowed to air at all. Word Association “wouldn't fly today because of the hard-R n-word coming out of Chase's mouth,” suggested u/Cheap_Rick. “ It was and remains a good sketch to broach the subject of racism and discrimination.”

“Yes, but people these days don't see it as such,” argued u/Chasman1965. “Same with the movie Blazing Saddles.”

Adrian Brody’s musical introduction, mon

Brody was allegedly working off-script (though that’s now disputed) when he donned dreadlocks and a terrible Jamaican accent to introduce musical act Sean Paul. 

“The second hand embarrassment from the Brody introduction is painful,” wrote u/Vorenos. 

u/2Twice throws out a theory for Brody’s motivation: “Strong claims it was deliberately done to not be asked back. It worked I guess.”

Bill Hader’s blackface

Yep, Hader too. It was to make a satirical point, but Saturday Night Live just can’t seem to learn its lesson on this one. u/WaywardChilton nominated it while acknowledging “he was playing a clueless white guy wearing blackface in a Tropic Thunder/Always Sunny kinda way.”

u/TrapperJean thought SNL was actually making a satirical point: “I think blackface can be funny still as long as the butt of the joke is blackface itself.”

Other Redditors pointed fingers at more SNL blackface through the years, including Fred Armisen’s Barack Obama, Darrell Hammond’s Jesse Jackson, Jimmy Fallon’s Chris Rock, and Billy Crystal’s Sammy Davis Jr.

Old Chinaman Beer

“The teeth. Holy shit.”

Not surprisingly, this Eddie Murphy/Joe Piscopo joint isn’t up on the official SNL YouTube channel. “This is real,” promises u/grozenlampreys. “I believe it was a parody of a real commercial at the time and they did different runners that night parodying it, first it was Old Jew Beer, another one I'm forgetting and then this one.”

“The teeth,” boggled u/bogus-flow. “Holy shit.”

This sketch got several comments along the lines of “This should be at the top,” and “Welp, we have a winner.”

Commie Hunting Season

u/SMcG193 nominated this sketch in which “Charles Rocket straight up says the n-word.”

“Yep. This is the one. Even back in the day, this was horribly racist and painfully unfunny. Not to mention it was based off of a real life event where KKK and neo-Nazis massacred five Communists,” wrote u/Wide_Answer. “What an incredibly bizarre event to satirize and they COMPLETELY missed the mark in every way.”

u/IvyGold wasn’t alone in saying, “That is possibly the worst thing that SNL ever aired.”

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