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5 Of The Most Controversial 'SNL' Skits

Noah Camarena |
March 9, 2015 | 5:26 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

SNL ISIS Sketch (Twitter/ @GMA)
SNL ISIS Sketch (Twitter/ @GMA)
In lieu of Dakota Johnson’s controversial ISIS sketch on the most recent installment of “Saturday Night Live,” we look at a few of the “SNL’s” riskiest moves. 

The Blind Politician

Back in 2008, during campaign season, the live show aired a sketch that portrayed the governor of New York, David Paterson, as having some trouble navigating around. They made the politician bump into things and squint at the camera. This doesn’t seem very harmful at first glance, until the audience realizes that in real life, Paterson is visually impaired. The whole point of the gag was centered around the fact that the politician is nearly blind, and this mockery of a disability did not sit well with people concerned with equal rights. 

READ MORE: Reactions To 'SNL' Anniversay Special

A Jab At Ray Rice

After the NFL tried to deal with Ray Rice and his domestic violence case, emphasis on the word try, “SNL” tried to address the prevalence of violence in the NFL. The show aired a skit where “players” from the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers introduced themselves, but rather than including the school at which they played before the pros, they included the crime that they committed. This sketch was already walking on thin ice, but the ice seemed to crack when they addressed domestic violence. Kenan Thompson appeared as a player who said he hit his wife, and the laughs from the crowd immediately became very sparse. That was, until his “wife” appeared on screen to explain that she hit him right back. This joke seemed to ease the tension, but was obviously a reference to the issue with Ray Rice. And because it is “SNL,” they made sure to include one more controversial topic by saying that Chris Brown would be the halftime; Chris Brown became infamous for a domestic abuse incident with his then girlfriend Rihanna

Speaking of Rihanna…

The joke surrounding the Rice situation was not the first time that the comedy show had tackled the issue of domestic violence. In 2009, Tiger Woods shocked the world and admitted to engaging in multiple affairs during his marriage with model Elin Nordegren. The world first learned about the marital problems when Woods fled his house after allegedly being attacked by his wife. “SNL” attempted to make light of this situation and aired a sketch where “Tiger” and “Elin” hold a press conference to address all the wrongdoing done by the golfer. After each confession, Elin injures Tiger a bit more, trying to make a joke that it was okay because it was the woman beating up the man. One main problem with the sketch was that it aired the same episode of which Rihanna was the musical guest, and as was previously mentioned, Rihanna was a victim of domestic abuse herself.

Probably Shouldn’t Joke About Jesus

The 2012 film “Django Unchained” was critically acclaimed but was also a very gorey and somewhat controversial movie. That’s just the type of subject that “SNL” loves to address. The show aired a sketch titled “Djesus Uncrosses” with dealt with Jesus using a sword to attack Romans. Some people have said that this is the most controversial skit in “SNL” history and have even labeled it as being blasphemous. Portraying the religious figure as a killing machine definitely rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, as most did not want to see Jesus in this revenge-seeking role.

READ MORE: 'SNL': Highlights Of 40th Anniversary Special

Might Want To Rip This Footage

Irish singer Sinead O’Connor is responsible for one of the most controversial moments in the history of the long-running show. During her performance of “War,” she ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II when she said “fight the real enemy.” O’Connor reportedly grew up in a Catholic household that was also abusive. This might explain her act on television, however it does not serve as an excuse for what she did, The act earned a lot of negative publicity for NBC and some celebrities even took a stand against O’Connor’s actions. The following week on “SNL,” host Joe Pesci held up a picture of the pope that he claimed he taped back together before tearing up a picture of the singer herself.

Reach Staff Reporter Noah Camarena here and follow him on Twitter here.



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