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Bob Odenkirk Calls Out SNL’s Classic Chippendales Sketch as the Lazy One-Note Fat Joke It Is

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul (2015)

Bob Odenkirk released his memoir this week, titled Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama, which is a pretty accurate description of his decades-long career.

In the book, widely beloved actor, writer, producer, and director Odenkirk gives insight into the various stages of his career, including his years working as a writer at Saturday Night Live. Based on excerpts and early coverage, a number of his stories are sad and tender reflections on his friendship with the late comedian Chris Farley. Odenkirk, notably, wrote one of the most iconic SNL sketches and characters of all time: Farley’s Matt “I live in a van down by the river” Foley.

But Odenkirk has less than kind feelings about another classic Farley sketch, which features him alongside host and Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze as the two compete for a job as a Chippendales dancer.

The New York Post writes:

Odenkirk hated the sketch that made Farley a star in his first season — the “Chippendale’s Audition” with Patrick Swayze, in which the audience shrieked with laughter while an overweight Farley writhed on stage. “I know it confirmed Chris’s worst instincts about being funny, which was how he proved his worth — that getting laughed at was as good as getting a laugh,” Odenkirk writes. “F*ck that sketch.”

Odenkirk is 100% right. The 1990 sketch might be considered a classic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a lazy one-note fat joke. It’s a six-minute sketch centered around a single joke: that Chris Farley does not have the body type we associate with exotic dancing. That’s it—and good for Odenkirk for saying as much.

(via Uproxx, image: Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.