Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

RuPaul and Bowen Yang do Dynasty in a coal mine in this cut-for-time SNL sketch

Illustration for article titled RuPaul and Bowen Yang do iDynasty/i in a coal mine in this cut-for-time iSNL /isketch
Screenshot: YouTube

RuPaul’s first time hosting Saturday Night Live wound up being a bit of a mixed bag. Despite the host’s plentiful supply of charisma (and uniqueness, nerve, and talent), “the sketches themselves weren’t especially sharp—whether dealing with RuPaul-specific topics or not—and the whole enterprise ultimately smacked of something of a missed opportunity,” according to our own Dennis Perkins. But there were still plenty of highlights, and thanks to this cut-for-time sketch, we get one more.

Sure, the Greek chorus of miners probably wasn’t necessary, and likely robbed us of a few more barbs/thrown drinks/slaps/dramatic cape exits, but it’s still a lot of fun. The inspiration isn’t even a little bit subtle: RuPaul and Bowen Yang are two rivals, coal mine or no coal mine, that come straight from the original Dynasty:

Nor is it the first time RuPaul has played with these particular archetypes. Dynasty’s fingerprints are all over RuPaul’s Drag Race, though never so much as in this challenge from the second-season finale:

Yang more than holds his own against Mother Ru (no small feat) but if you want another opportunity to watch two legends face off, skip ahead to 2:05, when the incomparable Jujubee enters the chatroom.

We hope this isn’t Ru’s last time hosting SNL, and if it’s not, we humbly submit to the writers that they consider mining other Drag Race challenges for sketch ideas. Maybe if they did Snatch Game, some of the show’s actual cast members would get to do celebrity impressions, rather than simply handing them off to the famous people they bring in by the busload?

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Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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