Saturday Night Live’s “Bride of Blackenstein” skit did black women no favors. In this blaxploitation-like spoof of The Bride of Frankenstein, which aired Jan. 30, we learn that even a black chick created from scratch in a laboratory is demanding, bossy and built like an extra from the “Baby Got Back” video. Starring SNL guest host Jesse Eisenberg as Igor and musical guest Nicki Minaj as the Bride, the skit opens as the latter first emerges from her coffin:
Upon laying eyes on her, Master—played by SNL’s Jay Pharoah—declares, “Uh, it’s alive. It’s…dayummm!”
What accounts for his animated reaction? Master spots what Igor calls “the swelling” in the Bride’s backside. Her derriere also excites Blackenstein—SNL’s Kenanan Thompson—who anticipates getting his “groove on” with his new wife. The Bride, however, isn’t having it. Although she was happy to exhibit her rump made of “jelly-filled basketballs” for the boys, she draws the line at letting Blackenstein have his way with her.
“You think you can just walk up on me and get some of this…all of this?” she asks. She then proceeds to demand that Blackenstein get a job.
Stunned by her noncompliant attitude, Master asks Igor where he got the parts for this creation. Turns out she was assembled from a DMV worker, a Walgreens cashier and a “ho who didn’t know her place.”
To call the segment cringe-worthy would be an understatement. The audience, of course, ate the skit up—laughing most raucously at the “ho” jab. Meanwhile, Igor is vexed as to why Blackenstein won’t tell the Bride that she must do as he says because he’s a man. But that tactic wouldn’t work on “sisters.” Not only are black women “hos” who demand that our men bring home the bacon if they expect to get some loving, we’re also emasculating shrews. Igor wouldn’t know this, though, because he’s never been with a black woman.
“I’ve just been with Jewish girls,” he explains.
Master’s reply? “Oh, then you kind of understand.”
Oh, snap! It’s not surprising that dig got laughs, considering that Jewish girls, like black girls, are oft painted as overbearing and undesirable.
The skit took aim at WASP women as well. When villagers storm the laboratory after discovering Master’s scientific shenanigans, one is particularly transfixed by the Bride’s backside, which she happily thrusts his way. This gets a rise out of the villager’s wife, played by Kristen Wiig, who demands to know if he’s checking out the Bride’s derriere.
“You know I like my booty like yours—flat and shapeless,” the villager says flippantly. Then, the camera zooms in on his wife’s bony butt, eliciting more laughter from the audience.
When the villagers leave after the Bride demands to know if they have a warrant, she immediately resumes bossing Blackenstein around. But it’s all good. The Bride’s luscious ass makes her worth the trouble, Master says.
Oy, vey. I don’t know how SNL managed to stuff so many stereotypes into one short skit. Truth be told, some parts of it were funny. I especially liked its use of 1970s diction and Eisenberg’s portrayal of the clueless Igor. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make up for the writers inserting one stereotype after another about black women. These stereotypes, of course, lead to real black women being told they have chips on their shoulders, even when that’s absolutely untrue. These stereotypes lead others to make no bones about addressing a black woman as “girlfriend” and proceeding to roll their necks in the manner they’ve seen black women do on TV. Lastly, these stereotypes lead to black women being told that men don’t want them because, no, the ass isn’t worth it.