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Saturday Night Live's Us-inspired parody commercial understands real identity theft

Ego Nwodim
Screenshot: Saturday Night Live

Note: There are no spoilers for Us in this news item. Although, if you haven’t seen Us, there’s not much point in watching this sketch anyway.

On last night’s Sandra Oh-hosted Saturday Night Live, featured player (a.k.a frustrated-at-being-underused bench warmer) Ego Nwodim finally got a chance to show off a bit in a credit card commercial that quickly turned into some stealth marketing for Jordan Peele’s blockbuster horror flick, Us. Nwodim, playing both a suspicious credit card customer and the red-jumpsuited doppelganger who raspingly fields the customer service call about possible identity theft, was outstanding, even if the filmed sketch relied so heavily on viewers having seen Us that its many references (scissors, bunnies, um, other stuff you shouldn’t watch before seeing Us) probably got a little lost.

Still, Nwodim had Lupita Nyong’o’s choked cadence as the film’s Red down to unnerving perfection, and the short cribbed from Peele’s directing style cleverly enough to induce some second-hand heebie-jeebies as customer Nwodim blithely shared far too many details about her and her family to call center Nwodim. And if the piece is part of SNL stated intention to do some stealth marketing itself, well at least the credit card company itself will have to deal with the impression that it’s customer service people are completely fucking terrifying. With Kenan Thompson’s husband grabbing the phone to cap the bit off, the reveal of his doppelganger, too, got it’s laughs largely from those people in the know. But, hey, it’s Kenan, so it’s sort of funny anyway, even if you’re one of the decreasing number of people who haven’t seen Us.


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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.