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SNL Brought Back David S. Pumpkins, ‘Drunk Uncle’—At the Expense of Its First Non-Binary Cast Member

Molly in the New Cast Advice sketch

Season 48 of Saturday Night Live has brought in four new cast members, most of whom have been getting little highlights here and there in order to make more of an effort to support newbies than before. The most notable highlights have been their own little monologues during Weekend Update, where they get to do their own routines and let everyone know who they are, what their style is, and so on.

And thus far, they’ve all done really well! Michael Longfellow has a subdued and clever way of speaking to the audience that I really enjoyed, Marcello Hernandez is full of energy and super fun to watch, and Devon Walker is just so naturally charming and endearing. So considering how great these monologues have been, I was really looking forward to hearing from our last newbie: Molly Kearney, whose style has been incredibly unique, hilarious, and for me, a highlight of this new season.

However, even though we were supposed to hear from Molly this past Halloween weekend, we only got one real sketch on Weekend Update: Bobby Moynihan’s return as Drunk Uncle, just in time for the revitalized “David S. Pumpkins” sketch.

And I mean, hey, I love Bobby Moynihan and totally geeked out when I saw him onscreen again. He’s one of the show’s best players of all time, in my opinion, and his delivery was so perfect that it felt like he’d never left. But, like … did we really need to put off Molly’s monologue just for one bit?

The Halloween show in general felt a bit off, partially due to the fact that its host was, uh, Jack Harlow—who did fine, I guess. I’ve gotta commend him for not over-relying on cue cards, but he just didn’t seem to be in his element. Plus, the writers this season seem to be undergoing an identity crisis and haven’t really found a solidified voice yet, which I’m guessing is why they decided to rehash David Pumpkins out of nowhere.

And that’s all well and good; people love David Pumpkins! People deserve David Pumpkins. David Pumpkins for life. But, I’m gonna be honest: David Pumpkins was not worth shortchanging the first non-binary cast member, especially considering the show is apparently trying harder to include its new cast members.

I doubt it was intentional, and I don’t want to make mountains out of molehills, especially since Molly themself seems like a pretty chill person—and there’s always the chance that they didn’t want to give a monologue, which is understandable, since it’s a lot of pressure. But it rubbed me the wrong way to see all this fanfare surrounding such old hash, knowing that we’d already gotten to see the cis dudes give their monologues on Update but now we’re putting the non-binary person on hold. Per usual with SNL, only one or two sketches were real knockouts anyways, so cutting Molly’s potential time felt gratuitous and unnecessary.

Now, some people might be rolling their eyes, getting ready to say, “Well MAD, Molly already got their spotlight with the New Cast Advice sketch!” And to you I say, yes, they did, but ALL the newbies got to be in that sketch, and even though Molly sold their role with panache, it still wasn’t the same as getting to talk authentically and show off their own bits and material. Like come on y’all, don’t “What about?” me with some crumbs. I want Molly to get that full-ass loaf, like everyone else did!

Hopefully we’ll get to see Molly give their own Update monologue soon. Maybe the show will try to play it off like, “Oh, haha, Molly was off killing Vladimir Putin, like we said,” but I’d prefer to see Molly just do their own thing and show us who they are, like everyone else got a chance to do.

(featured image: NBC)

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Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).