Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Scarlett Johansson, Aidy Bryant
Screenshot: Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live coincidentally had a Hallmark Channel sketch all locked and loaded for last night’s Scarlett Johansson-hosted show. Which is good timing, since the unassuming home of your aunt’s favorite nondescriptly identical TV movies starring pleasant white people falling in tepid like suddenly found itself in the spotlight on Saturday for allowing a fringe group of gay-hating morality morons to bully it into ditching a commercial briefly showing two women getting married. To each other, even!

Still, the resulting game show sketch didn’t make much mention of the ongoing uproar, time being SNL’s relentlessly ticking enemy and all. In the end, Aidy Bryant, playing the host of the Hallmark Channel dating show A Winter Boyfriend For Holiday Christmas, signed off with a chipper, “Stay straight out there!” to the network’s supposedly scandalized viewership. Instead, the Christmas-themed sketch mostly focused on how its first ever dating competition was peopled solely by characters seemingly plucked from Hallmark’s assembly-line roster of stock leads played by formerly almost-famous white actors.


Johansson’s harried, big city journalist (“A New York 6 and a Buffalo 10,” according to Bryant) really just wants to settle down in the inexpensive location she’s been dispatched to in order to prove Santa isn’t real. Kyle Mooney’s suspiciously named Nick St. Claus is clearly a blandly handsome young Santa in disguise. Beck Bennett’s hunky but wholesome small town fella just wants to save his Christmas tree farm. Oh, and he’s also a ghost. And Alex Moffat’s one of those princes from a vaguely European country (Caucasia, in this case), who just has to get married before midnight, or else. Is it more damaging to the Hallmark brand to have its ever-churning movie factory comically dissected, or to be known as the bastion of ice-white religious bigots? Either way, enjoy your holidays, Hallmark!

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

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