Saturday Night Live Fail: Bobby Moynihan as Kim Jong-un

I understand. Making fun of North Korea is pretty easy. From threats of missile strikes to bad Photoshop jobs boasting false military might, to ridiculously outrageous claims about Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has made itself the easy target of copious lampooning. And that's where Saturday Night Live went this weekend: 'SNL': Kim Jong-un Endorses Gay Marriage in Cold Open.

With all the crazy-ass stuff that's been in the news lately, SNL couldn't not do something on North Korea. But the problem that always arises when the show attempts sketches about China or North Korea, is how they depict Asian characters -- there are no identifiably Asian cast members on Saturday Night Live to fit those roles, so it usually ends up being some kind of mild yellowface. On Saturday, it was Kim Jong-un.

This time around, the best they could do was put Bobby Moynihan in a funny haircut and had him mumble a really uncomfortable "wallawallawalla" gibberish approximation of the Korean language (kicked off with a "watashi-wa" -- Japanese, by the way) that lasted through the whole skit. See for yourself:

You think Bobby Moynihan even bothered listening to what Korean actually sounds like? It sounds like he thought, hey, my mock Japanese is close enough. Would the skit have been better if they had used an actual person of Asian descent as Kim Jong-Un? I don't know. But it definitely wouldn't have been as distracting, and maybe we wouldn't have had to witness this awkward new spin on the "ching chong."

angry archive