SNL vs. Ivanka: It’s a Saturday Night Dive

Okay, I get it.  Saturday Night Live’ thinks of itself as edgy–and in all honesty, the Trump administration (like every administration that came before it) provides more than its fair share of fodder for comedy.  So it really isn’t a shock that SNL would take a jab at Ivanka Trump.  After all, she is an adviser to her father and she spent a lot of time campaigning for him, which makes her fair game for satire.  At least she would have been, if the writing staff hadn’t caught a binding case of creative constipation and run back to yet another tired spoof of perfume commercials:

On the plus side, at least they didn’t go the feminine hygiene or erectile dysfunction route–but given the dearth of imagination on display here, I wouldn’t be surprised if either of those popped up in the future.  Seriously guys, if a lack of laughs continues for longer than ninety minutes, please consult a script doctor immediately.

For those of you who don’t want to add another hit to the YouTube counter, WaPo has a decent enough summary:

“She’s Ivanka,” the narrator says. “And a woman like her deserves a fragrance all her own. A scent made just for her. Because she’s beautiful. She’s powerful. She’s … Complicit.”

 

More: “She’s a woman who knows what she wants, and knows what she’s doing. Complicit.”

 

And: “She doesn’t crave the spotlight, but we see her. Oh, how we see her,” as she looks in a mirror and sees Baldwin-as-Trump looking back at her.

Spoiler Alert:  The bit finishes with some business about Ivanka thinking she’s Rose when she watches Titanic, but she’s really. . .Billy Zane?  Apparently the writers missed the memo that Titanic gags have been banned since Leslie Nielsen killed the subject dead at the end of Wrongfully Accused.

I suppose I could really get mean and say that Scarlett Johansson is no Ivanka Trump (which, let’s get real here, she’s not)–but even leaving that aside, the clip fails for the simple reason that it’s not that funny.  Also, when your target viewers are mostly millennials who are probably texting while watching, it might not be such a hot idea to throw a word like complicit–which they’ll probably have to look up–at them.  I know that comedy is hard, guys, but try not to make the audience work that much.  This is late night TV, after all.

If you want to see something about Ivanka that will actually make you laugh, I’d suggest you check out the Fox series New Girl instead.  There’s an episode called “Hubbedy Bubby” from a few months back in which the main character Jess and her friend Cece party with a bunch of sorority sisters so they’ll get registered to vote for Hillary–until Jess mentions Donald Trump, and the girls stampede off to vote for him because they just love Ivanka.  It’s absolutely hilarious because it rings so true.

Which is maybe why SNL has the long knives out for her.  The Left has a history of going after women who have tremendous appeal, if those women have the potential to draw voters to the Republican Party.  If that’s the case, we’ll probably see a lot more of this stuff staggering out of the writers’ room at SNL, and other shows too.  Perhaps we can hope that maybe, one day, like a crotchety David Letterman missing the old days of leering at starlets on his interview couch, they’ll figure out that being mean and angry doesn’t make for the best comedy.

But by then, Ivanka will probably be in her second term as president.

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Marc Giller

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