Blake Lively’s 2009 ‘Saturday Night Live’ Appearance Was Crass for This Particular Sketch
Now 45 years into their run, Saturday Night Live still has a long string of controversies that went out over the live airwaves. While some of those are from the guest musicians or cast members accidentally spouting four-letter words, sometimes it just came from the sketch writers.
One most people can agree was tasteless was a sketch parodying Tiger Woods after being accused of domestic abuse. This aired in 2009 with one notable host and participant: Blake Lively.
Everyone knows Lively as a popular actress in her own right and her fame is only further enhanced by being married to Ryan Reynolds. Together, they’ve become a power couple, but one has to wonder what Lively thought of doing the above skit 11 years ago.
Let’s look back at the reaction to it and whether SNL is more careful now in the writing room.
Overall, the show with Lively was a good showcase for her talents
The above episode in question aired on December 5, 2009, when Lively was acting on Gossip Girl. As critics noted in reviewing this SNL episode, Lively wasn’t really known for doing comedy in movies or TV yet.
She still hasn’t shown that side much after reinventing her career as a more dramatic actress the last five years after taking a break to have kids. Only her hilarious tweet interactions with Reynolds proves she can be very funny.
Nevertheless, her stint on SNL managed to successfully showcase what she could do, which isn’t always possible with other actors who guest star.
Since this was her first time hosting, she probably had to go along with some sketches others of higher stature would have refused to do. One of those was the above-mentioned skit involving Woods. Longtime cast member Kenan Thompson played Woods and Lively played his wife, Elin Nordegren, alongside Jason Sudeikis as Wolf Blitzer.
As topical as this sketch was, it didn’t go over well with domestic violence groups. If it seemed funny at the time to reverse the situation where Woods was abused by his wife, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence called it out as crass.
The timing wasn’t quite right, even if fans still find it funny
As noted in Vulture the week after it aired, the NCADV thought it was insensitive to poke fun at any kind of domestic violence situation. No doubt Woods and his wife didn’t think so at the time either.
Also, the fact there was a musical guest that night who was a survivor of domestic abuse (Rihanna), Lorne Michaels seemed to be off his game a little in not thinking things through.
Vulture itself, on the other hand, seemed to think there was an overreaction to the sketch since it did seem fairly harmless. One thing for sure is many people still deem it funny when watched on YouTube or on NBC.com.
What Lively thought about it at the time is another thing. She’s never made comment, but she’s also never been back to host since.
Is ‘SNL’ more careful now?
It seems there’s never a shortage of controversial things potentially happening on SNL. Most of those incidents nowadays are moments where a cast member or guest inadvertently blurts a profanity on live TV.
All those past unexpected moments with musicians don’t happen much anymore. Also, sketches seem a little bit more thought out so they don’t cause a ruckus in the media.
After 45 years, Michaels probably gets the formula to a tee now so he knows where to cut something when necessary. If only Blake Lively would come back and do some comedy again. She was completely charming on this 2009 episode and did happen to do two cameos on the show a year before, then again in 2010.
Since coming back to movies with The Age of Adaline in 2015, it’s been mostly dramas on the big screen. In a time when domestic abuse is a more sensitive subject, don’t expect anything remotely close to that 2009 sketch if she ever hosts SNL again.