‘SNL’ Opens Season With Digs At Armie Hammer and Adam Levine

This skit was made possible by recent screenshots of Instagram DMs and stars behaving badly.

Direct messaging is usually seen as the cool and convenient way to communicate on social media, but there is one fatal flaw: the screenshot. Despite knowing about this very easy function, many people, including celebrities, continue to think they don’t need to censor their messages just in case they end up in the wrong hands.

Case in point: Adam Levine’s racy and wild DMs to online influencer Sumner Stroh recently erupted in a massive cheating scandal, and Armie Hammer’s disgusting comments to women have put in a legal hot seat.  These stars behaving badly became the basis for the latest Saturday Night Live gag, which was served up to late-night audiences in game show format.

The Season 48 premiere of the legendary comedy series on Saturday night created a fictional game show called “Send Something Normal,” a play on certain celebs’ inability in recent history to keep things civil when sliding into other peoples’ direct messages on social media.

The skit starred a fictitious Adam Levine (played by Mikey Day), Armie Hammer (James Austin Johnson), Neil deGrasse Tyson (Kenan Thompson), and SNL cast member Bowen Yang playing himself, with Hollywood actor Miles Teller playing game show host Halen Hardy.

“The game is very simple,” Teller explains in the beginning. “We have four male celebrity contestants and all they have to do is reply to a woman’s DM on Instagram in a way that is normal.”

Of course, what transpires is anything but a series of normal text messages, with some of the dialogue delving into pretty cringe-worthy territory.

While the parody actors amplify the creep factors of their assumed identities, some of the alleged DM histories that the sketch is based on are pretty controversial. 

Armie Hammer, for example, didn’t just send some whacked-out messages about drinking blood—he’s also being investigated for reports of sexual misconduct, including rape. Not exactly the hilarious backstory with which to laugh at…

And the basis of the game show still objectifies women, including using stereotypical images of girls in bikinis, without offering some kind of example that redeems the plot line of the sketch.

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In the beginning, Bowen Yang attributes his success as reigning champion of the game show based on “being gay” (yikes line?), however, during his turn, he re-uses three lines from Adam Levine in a DM message to female powerhouse singer Dua Lupa.

“Your music makes my penis smile!” Yang declares, for whatever reason, resulting in his losing the game and the show abruptly ending. 

Thankfully, Yang made us laugh way more while starring as New York City’s “most wanted villain,” aka the spotted lantern fly (an invasive species that is killing trees throughout the tri-state area) on the episode’s Weekend Update sketch. 

The bit was an ode to crazy talk shows of the past like Jerry Springer, complete with a special guest corn brawl.

“Cash me outside,” he yells at a booing audience, “Suckin’ all your trees to death!”

Katka Lapelosova
Kat is a born and raised New Yorker exploring the world as she writes, eats, and everything in between. Read more
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