In times like these, we need comedy even more than ever. And this week’s Saturday Night Live Aziz Ansari sketch captured the uncomfortable conversations everyone’s having with friends right now. In mid-January, an anonymous woman publicly alleged that she was sexually assaulted by Aziz Ansari. And her story opened up a proverbial can of worms. Immediately following the account of her uncomfortable date with Ansari, which included unwanted sexual advances from the Master of None creator, everyone had different reactions. And on Saturday, January 27th, SNL perfectly captured just how uncomfortable it is to talk about.
In the Saturday Night Live Aziz Ansari sketch, a group of friends attempted to have a nice dinner out. The actors included Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Kenan Thompson, Heidi Gardner, Kate McKinnon, and Will Ferrell, the week’s host. The dinner conversation went from Ferrell quipping about his dog to Bryant praising the food. With light topics like these, everything seemed great. Then Gardner took the opportunity to bring up the Aziz Ansari story, to which Bennett quickly said “Honey, no.”
Things only escalated from there. The group of friends attempted to engage in a meaningful conversation about the nuances of sexual assault while also remaining cautious about saying anything overly insensitive. It’s so easy to accidentally say something that you don’t mean or get your words wrong when talking about heavy subjects like these. And the Saturday Night Live Aziz Ansari sketch makes it seem that each time someone decided to express their opinion about the story, they were taking a major risk.
After McKinnon volunteered to talk about the story, Will Ferrell grabbed her hand and asked, “Are you sure you want to do this?”
She did. Immediately after she started saying, “I think,” Ferrell warned her: “Careful!”
McKinnon continued, saying, ” I think that some women…” to which Bryant repeated: “Careful!”
Basically, anytime anyone at the table started to say something, someone muttered, “Careful!”
Eventually, the actors did manage to get a few words out. But when they did, all hell broke loose. But in the most hilarious ways, of course.
You need to watch the Saturday Night Live Aziz Ansari sketch “Dinner Discussion” for yourself.
The thing is, talking about the Aziz Ansari conversation is brave.
And it is something you should do with friends. The more that issues and nuances of consent are discussed, the better everyone’s understanding of them are. If you happen to need to cut off all your hair and stab your hand with a butter knife when a friend says something, well, the Saturday Night Live Aziz Ansari sketch proves that you’re not alone.
Now get out there and engage in tough conversations. But…bring wine.