Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter YouTube Email Newsletter

Saturday Night Live takes aim at Walt Disney World

Written by
Published: January 19, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Saturday Night Live had fun with Walt Disney World last night:

Drake played a Disney World cast member at Hollywood Studios' Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and did a solid job capturing the hopeless enthusiasm that theme park employees have to bring to the show when working with an audience volunteer, uh, doesn't go so well.

It might be worth noting that Saturday Night Live airs on NBC, which is owned by Disney's archrival NBCUniversal, and the whole audience volunteers schtick traditionally has been more Universal's thing. But Universal's been backing off that in recent years, so hey, why not spoof the Disney show?

What did you think?

Readers' Opinions

From Robert Niles on January 19, 2014 at 8:37 PM
I'm betting that "I am Rihad" soon will become as despised by Disney CMs as "Andy's coming!"
From on January 19, 2014 at 8:41 PM
I am Rahaat!
From Matt Babiak on January 19, 2014 at 8:49 PM
I thought this was really funny. Drake brought a lot of energy to the performance and really sold the hopelessly enthusiastic. Wish the rest of the show was that good.
From Phil B. on January 19, 2014 at 9:26 PM
Haha, that was pretty funny. That shot to the head with the boulder got the biggest laugh out of me, I wasn't expecting that lol.
From on January 19, 2014 at 9:34 PM
I watched the episode last night, and as a whole the episode was one of the less funny ones this season. The Disney skit, along with several others, just were not that funny. Now, had drunk uncle been pulled up for the skit.... then maybe it would have went viral.
From Anon Mouse on January 19, 2014 at 10:05 PM
Universal dumbed down the volunteer aspect of the shows. Many times when they asked a volunteer to change into costume, a stunt double is the actual person who does the tricks. I assume this is due to liability. This happened several times in their special effects show in USH.

The spoof doesn't even parody the reality. It does seem to imply the woman is an idiotic Indian. If a person doesn't know the language, the show moves forward. It doesn't get stuck in the wasteland of lets keep repeating myself until you learn English. Oh well.

From Jeff Elliott on January 20, 2014 at 7:45 AM
Great premise. Dumb sketch.

Has SNL been funny since Bill Murray left?

From Jason Read on January 20, 2014 at 8:02 AM
That sketch reinforces my choice to give up on SNL long ago.
From Russell Meyer on January 20, 2014 at 8:32 AM
I saw the sketch live, and thought it was typical SNL faire. The premise was pretty funny, and Drake did a good job as the lead--The writers kept him busy throughout the night, only giving him the Weekend Update slot off.

As with all sketch comedy, the skit went for the lowest common denominator, and I think there would have been a bit more outrage and allegations of racism if Nasiim Pedrad had not played Rahat. I was waiting for them to work the name into a joke, but it never came, and with so many SNL sketches, it ended with a thud after the third repetition of the schtick. You have to give them credit though for doing a really good job with the set design. For those who have either seen a taping or toured the NBC studios in New York, that soundstage is extremely small and cramped.

I don't think it was a direct shot at Disney, but a situation one of the writers thought was funny, perhaps from personal experience, and was at least humorous enough at the walk through that it made the cut for the show.

Perhaps it's more telling that SNL is NBC's highest rated scripted show despite airing at 11:30 PM on Saturday. SNL, as it was even in the 70's, can be hit or miss, and has a lot to do with timing around historical events and the guest host and musical guest, who are booked months in advance. Everyone's going to say that SNL was better "back in the day", but if you go back and watch those early seasons (you can purcahse the entirety of the first 5 seasons on DVD), there are some serious duds on either side of the classics. It's pretty amazing that the show has lasted for nearly 40 years, and continues to reinvent itself. This year's cast is not as strong as recent years, mostly because they lost a number of veterans over the past 2 years, and are about to lose their lead writer (Seth Myers) to Late Night. Not only that, but they're dealing with their Executive Producer (Lorne Michaels) having his time split between SNL and launching the new Tonight Show in New York with Jimmy Fallon. Many critics would say that SNL had a rebirth over the past 5 years, and that the show goes through cycles like this as casts turn over. I think there are 4 or 5 new permanent cast members this season (some were "featured players" in previous seasons).

From Gabriel Schroll on January 20, 2014 at 10:31 AM
I didn't find it to be very funny. I think a smarter way to make fun of Disney would be to take a couple jabs at the Magic Bands.

I've just never really found immigrant/foreigner humor to be very funny. Even when someone like Margaret Cho parodies asian stereotypes, I don't think it's in good taste, and this wasn't either.

Bad sketch. Don't watch SNL anymore either.

From Mike Gallagher on January 20, 2014 at 11:32 AM
Thanks for the reminder of why I stopped watching
SNL after the Murphy/Piscopo era.
From on January 20, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Why do comedians think when they yell a line it's more funny. It's not.
From on January 21, 2014 at 8:56 AM
Pretty funny.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Previous article: Vote of the Week: Disney World completes the Fastpass+ switch... but which system would you prefer?

Planning a trip to Orlando?

Walt Disney World

Insider's Pick: Get all the best advice from ThemeParkInsider.com in one convenient book! Theme Park Insider Orlando 2014 offers you the insight, background, and how-to skills that will help you enjoy Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando like, well, a theme park insider. Save yourself time and money by learning how to visit the Orlando-area theme parks the insiders' way.

Get it! In paperback | For Kindle | For iBooks