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Will Forte’s MacGruber Goes Full QAnon Shaman on ‘SNL’ Return

The former cast member hosted a hilarious episode of 'Saturday Night Live'.

Will Forte goes full QAnon Shaman on MacGruber

There’s a special kind of energy on ‘Saturday Night Live’ when a former cast member returns to host the show, and Will Forte was no exception. Joined by fellow cast mate Kristen Wiig, Forte was a welcome and reliably hilarious presence throughout the episode, and appeared genuinely thrilled to be in the hosting seat. In the 12 years since he was a cast member, Forte has delivered hilarious turns in shows like The Last Man on Earth as well as more dramatic work in the fantasy drama Sweet Tooth.

But throughout the years, Will Forte has always returned to fan-favorite character MacGruber. The mainstay sketch, a spoof of MacGyver, sees Forte’s special ops agent trying to defuse a bomb but getting waylaid by his own personal issues and ignorance. In 2010 Forte made a MacGruber movie, which saw mixed reviews and a lackluster box office, but the film has since gained a new life as a cult classic. Now, MacGruber is back with a limited series on Peacock, where Forte is joined by Kristen Wiig and Ryan Philippe.

So naturally, MacGruber was going to make an appearance on Saturday Night Live. The sketch sees MacGruber start out as an anti-masker, claiming that he’s vaccinated against COVID-19. As the sketch continues, MacGruber takes to chugging Ivermectin and hydroxochloroquine, as well as drinking bleach. By the final act, he’s gone full QAnon Shaman, claiming celebrities eat babies and spouting his absurd beliefs at his co-workers.

While Wiig and Philippe try to talk some sense into him, Forte says, “I’m just your average American, who believes in limited government, my body, my choice — for men — and suppressed voting rights for alternatively skinned people.” He continues, “I’m just a shaman. All I can do is pray for you, take up arms against you, and keep the oath I took to protect this country because I am an oath keeper, and boy, am I proud of that — which I guess makes me a proud boy.”

Forte’s MacGruber has always been a hilarious indictment of American masculinity and a twisted ode to the tough guy characters of the 1980s. MacGruber’s machismo and oversized confidence predictably crumbles in the face of actual adversity, and he immediately becomes a poster boy for white male fragility, willing to sell out anyone around him, and especially himself. In the film, most MacGruber adventures end with Forte in the nude. He is barely clothed throughout the Peacock series, and the gag gets funnier the longer it goes on.

And weirdly, MacGruber’s alpha male posturing has only become more prescient and incisive as the years go on. Of course MacGruber would be an anti-vaxxer who falls down the QAnon rabbit hole. You only need to look at the kind of people who stormed the Capitol on January 6 to see the very same qualities amplified: ignorance, ego, and paranoia which instantly devolve into self-victimization the moment reality hits. After all, what’s more MacGruber than eating spaghetti that’s been rolling around in your underwear?

(image: screencap/NBC)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.