I never thought I’d be writing about Saturday Night Live and Justin Timberlake on my vegan blog, but after watching JT host SNL last Saturday, I’m, well, a little verklempt. SNL and JT are my new vegan allies, it would seem.
For his fifth time hosting, Timberlake brought back a skit he’s done variations of before (Omletteville and Liqourville being two of them). This time, it was Veganville. Timberlake, dressed up as a huge block of Tofu, starts the skit as a mascot for a new vegan store. He runs into a guy from the Sausage Depot (played by Bobby Moynihan) who chides his meat-free choices. Timberlake retorts with parodies of songs in a Weird Al kind of way (same tune, new words). There was Vegout (to the tune of Chic’s Le Freak), Brown Rice Baby (to Vanilla Ice’s Ice, Ice Baby), and my favorite, We found Love in a Meatless Place (to the tune of Rhianna’s We Found Love), among others.
Mr. Sausage urges Timberlake’s character to try some meat but is reminded about how animals raised for meat are killed. Mr. Sausage breaks down and cries about eating “Babe’s grandbabes.” Timberlake’s character poignantly replies, “It’s never too late to do the right thing.” Then, in true comedic, timely fashion, he starts the Harlem Shake (well, Veggie Shake) and the stage fills with costumed dancers.
Perhaps this is just a silly sketch, but I love the message. I especially appreciate how they carried it out to the end and didn’t backtrack. I was half expecting JT to switch teams and drive off in the Oscar Meyer weinermobile. I was heartened when the studio audience cheered for Veganville (of course they were cheering JT too). I’d love to know who wrote this, how it got include in the show, and if Timberlake had anything to do with it.
Justin Timberlake is reported to be a vegetarian, although I haven’t found definitive proof. To me, it’s heart-warming to think that after years of being “the weird one” maybe veganism is starting to be seen as a realistic choice.
Then again, maybe it’s just a skit.