When a Saturday Evening Reside parody tune starts, there’s generally a second of anticipation the place you marvel what the punch line goes to be. That used to be the case remaining evening as a bunch of feminine forged participants started a ballad about their aloof spouses, one questioning, “Is he dreaming of some other lady he desires greater than me?”
Then the comic strip reduce to what the boys have been pondering. What used to be on their thoughts: The Roman empire, in fact. Sure, it used to be perhaps a few months behind schedule, however the rap tune that ensued used to be concerning the meme that males are nearly all the time considering the main points of the Roman empire. The evening’s host, Jason Momoa, took the lead: “5 occasions an afternoon it pops into my dome, which jogs my memory: They invented the dome. Simply probably the most causes that I take into accounts Rome.”
With the burly Momoa, there to advertise his newest flip because the DC superhero Aquaman, SNL’s writers had a paragon of muscle-bulging masculinity to deploy. The “Rome Tune” comic strip used to be simply one of the the place they used Momoa’s quintessential dudeness to supply some—now and again a laugh, now and again overly simplistic—comedy on gender tropes.
The Roman empire bit used to be the primary probably the most evening that leaned into this theme. Momoa’s extensive shoulders have compatibility completely right into a Roman warrior gown, however he used to be in the long run joined through the solid participants Mikey Day and Kenan Thompson, who additionally spat out information about gladiators and marble statues.
The comic strip had every other remark on fixations. When it peeked into the mind of somewhat child enjoying the son of Momoa and Ego Nwodim, the boy started to rap about dinosaurs. And as for the ladies? Smartly, ladies are all the time residing on astrology, which led Momoa to show that “the Romans have been in fact into astrology too.”
As an entire, the comic strip used to be smartly achieved—the “dinosaur” interlude used to be a specifically lovable addition—nevertheless it introduced not anything new by the use of remark at the meme, which at this level has already been performed out throughout social media. Plus, there’s not anything actually subversive about pronouncing, necessarily, that males obsess over historical past whilst ladies take a look at their horoscopes. In truth, it’s somewhat reductive.
The episode didn’t get all that extra insightful because it went on. Later, Momoa performed the hunky ex-fiancé of a girl portrayed through Chloe Fineman. She had idea him useless after a aircraft explosion, however he returned from being stranded on an island sexier than ever, a lot to the dismay of her new partner (Andrew Dismukes). She used to be smitten, and it used to be a very easy gag, a exhibit of Momoa’s sturdy, wild-man character and no longer a lot more.
However in all probability the evening’s strangest tackle gender got here close to the tip of the display. In a riff on Netflix’s Untold documentary collection, Sarah Sherman seemed as the fictitious tennis participant Charna Lee Diamond, who, on this model, had a battle-of-the-sexes event prior to Billie Jean King did. Except for Charna wasn’t such a success. She challenged a person to a fit and were given paired up with Momoa as Ronnie Dunster, who “on the time used to be the biggest guy to ever play tennis.”
That’s the place it verged into absurdism. When Ronnie served, the ball actually went thru Charna, leaving a bleeding hollow within the middle of her abdomen. She screamed, “Did I wreck it for ladies?” She pressed on. Her head got here off together with his 2nd serve. Charna attempted to modify historical past and died doing it.
The gross-out gruesomeness of the comic strip outstanding it, nevertheless it used to be in the long run simply some other reminder of ways large Momoa is, and, in flip, how manly. The underlying sentiment: Come on, a lady can’t beat that man.
Many hosts arrive on SNL desperate to subvert their public character and display their comedic vary. Momoa threw himself into the sketches with verve, however he didn’t take numerous dangers to problem his symbol, and neither did the writers. With Momoa as a logo of large male power, they dove headfirst into drained binaries.