Yesterday Brokelyn, like every other website in the universe, shared the skit where Kevin Hart, Keenan Thompson and Jay Pharoh stood around being tough corner dudes in Bushwick who are loving the neighborhood’s gentrification. Not wanting to be party poopers, we stifled our impulse to say that the skit wasn’t really that funny, because we figured there was no need to.
Turns out we gave the internet too much credit, because it’s been three days of nothing but headlines like “Kevin Hart Spoofed Brooklyn Gentrification and It Was So Right,” “Watch Kevin Hart’s Amazing ‘SNL’ Digital Short About Gentrification” and “Saturday Night Live Brilliantly Takes On Brooklyn Gentrification.” How this many people can all hold the same wrong opinion is a mystery to us, but we guess we’ll be the first website to say it: The SNL Bushwick skit was brutally unfunny and has been done to death.
The jokes in the skit weren’t so much jokes as they were Family Guy-style “Hey, here’s a reference, you’ve heard of this!” flailing. A mayo store, you’ve heard Brooklyn has one of those! A white person doing a hip-hop song on an acoustic guitar, you haven’t seen that happening for well over 15 years! And if you didn’t think that Kevin Hart was talking about dogs when he was talking about his “bitches,” we’d go see a doctor about that blindness you’re suffering from because you could see that joke coming from sixty miles away.
We’re hardly arguing Brooklyn or gentrification shouldn’t be spoofed, but what a tired way to do it by going down the “black people enjoy things traditionally done by white people” road. There was nothing “right,” “brilliant,” “amazing” or “Wire-esque” about the skit. It’s also been done better at least twice, first by Michael Che when he wandered through a bodega in his old hood and then Friends of the People’s “Gentrify Rap.” Plus those skits were able to end without the final punchline of “black guy shoots someone.” It was dumb to keep that to ourselves, so we’re sorry.