On Saturday night, SNL did a sketch about the new Bravo series, “Pregnant in Heels”. On Sunday afternoon, I finally saw five minutes of the show. Now, having seen the program, I can say that Abby Elliott nailed Rosie Pope’s bizzarro British/American/numb tongue accent. Unfortunately, every single review I’ve seen of the sketch has been written by a someone who has no idea that the show is even a real show. And thus, they are lambasting her for having a weird, annoying, “culturally offensive” accent.
I think what this sketch and its lukewarm (okay…absolutely cold) reception highlights is that if you’re going to do pop culture satire, make sure that your work is funny enough to overcome people’s lack of familiarity with the topic. I LOVE referential humor. However, I always have to ask myself, is this funny to someone who has no idea what this is? Like, is there a bigger game or are there enough punchlines to communicate what’s so funny to someone unfamiliar with the world? As a woman and a nerd, I have to be extra on point with this because not everyone is going to relate to a joke that’s just about Clinique lipstick or Mr. Tilney or Doctor Doom or George Orwell. I have to make sure there’s something emotionally universal or undeniably silly in any kind of joke like that. Or, just accept that I’m aiming for a smaller audience and if a bunch of people don’t get it…fuck ‘em.