‘SNL’ Was More Interested in Sydney Sweeney’s Boobs Than Sydney Sweeney

It was the breast of times, it was the worst of times
‘SNL’ Was More Interested in Sydney Sweeney’s Boobs Than Sydney Sweeney

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Not that long ago, I rewatched all of the Saturday Night Live episodes hosted by teenagers. It was a good refresher course on how SNL has historically treated young female hosts, from Britney Spears’ breasts that had minds of their own to Lindsay Lohan as Hermione falling out of her Gryffindor uniform to the Olsen twins reminding viewers, “Remember — we’re legal in four weeks!” Every chance it could, early aughts SNL slobbered over Hollywood’s youngest stars. At least the show has moved past its ogling past, I thought. And then Sydney Sweeney came to Studio 8H last night.

Let’s make a few things clear. I love sex jokes! Sweeney is 26. And no one is getting offended by a low-cut top in 2024. But what made the Sydney Sweeney-hosted SNL such an eye-roller was how lazy the boob jokes were. Take the opening monologue, for example. Sweeney talks about coming to Hollywood as a young woman with a PowerPoint plan to audition for shows, find an agent and get a SAG card. If that didn’t work, she had a Plan B:

That’s the joke: “Boobs.” Get it? Come to think of it, “Show boobs” was downright clever compared to “Hooters Waitress,” a sketch about, well, you know what it’s a sketch about.

Again, nothing inherently terrible about casting Sweeney as a Hooters waitress. You’d simply hope there would be a joke beyond “She gets big tips because she has big breasts.” Even a simple twist like Sweeney being the least successful server at Hooters would give the sketch somewhere to go. Instead, it was an excuse to put Sweeney in a tight T-shirt so she could bend over a lot. 

If I were to guess last week what kinds of sketches SNL would dream up for Sweeney, I’d dismiss ideas like “Hooters waitress” and “sexiest cheerleader in high school” as way too obvious and, frankly, insulting to Sweeney. That pitch meeting last Monday must have been awkward: “Okay, so in this one, we stare at your boobs.”

I’m not sure if it’s better or worse that SNL did dream up a sex sketch for Sweeney that was actually funny while subverting stereotypes — worse only in that it proves it can be done. In “Bowen’s Straight,” Sweeney has a crush on sweet cast member Bowen Yang but knows she has no chance because he’s gay. Oh no, reveal Heidi Gardner and Ego Nwodim. Yang is as straight as they come — he just pretends to be gay because it earns him easy laughs. The Sweeney/Yang hookup was the steamiest thing on the show — and it never pointed the camera at Sweeney’s boobs. It was also the funniest of the night because it bothered to do something unexpected. 

Does Sweeney have any comic talent? Hard to tell from last night’s SNL. But at least during “Bowen’s Straight,” she hinted that she might have more to offer than a tight T-shirt. 


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