Saturday Night Live usually makes high-quality comedy that cleverly looks at our world with sarcasm and witticism.
But a sketch based on an Aer Lingus flight, featuring Irish-American actress Saoirse Ronan (of Brooklyn fame) has attracted criticism on social media for relying on trite Irish stereotypes.
Ronan dressed as an air stewardess called Colleen, wearing a green uniform and bouffant bob hairstyle, who spoke with a heavy Irish accent.
Included in the sketch are a reference to Aer Lingus being similar to “cunnilingus”, a lot of mention of potatoes, dogs, bad Irish accents, Aran jumpers, and even Oscar Wilde.
Aer Lingus responded with a tweet not too dissimilar to what you might find on Donald Trump’s timeline:
Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Ronan impersonation just can’t get any worse. Sad
— Aer Lingus (@AerLingus) December 3, 2017
People were generally disappointed and found it unfunny and lacking wit:
Sheesh, someone just sent me that snl aerlingus sketchy, bit of a swing and a miss, we get it, Irish people like dogs and poetry and potatoes and our accents are funny. Classic
— JamesVincentMcMorrow (@jamesvmcmorrow) December 3, 2017
Others criticised Ronan and called the sketch “old shtick”:
I think Saoirse Ronan is great- brilliant actress and seems bang on. The “Welcome to Hell” bit on SNL was 👌 But the Aer Lingus sketch was *awful*. Aran jumpers, potato jokes, Americans doing stage Oirish accents? Definitely expected more from SNL than that old shtick.
— Nicola Brennan (@nnibhraonain) December 3, 2017
It was so wrong that I actually wondered if it was a meta-comment on terrible Oirish accents and sketches.
— Trish Byrnes roasting on an open fire (@TrishByrne) December 3, 2017
Some people went even further, calling it “racist””
So let me get this straight, everyone was looking for two things:
1) Saoirse Ronan to not play up her begorrah and bejaysus Oirish paddywackery shtick, and
2) a Saturday Night Live sketch that was funny.
Wow, you lot don’t ask much, do you?
— Gerry McBride (@GerryMcBride) December 3, 2017
The @AerLingus sketch. WOW. Casting Ireland as a backward country again, is that the best you can do? We were the first country in the world to vote in a referendum to allow same-sex marriage. Our leader is openly gay. You elected a pussy grabber and might elect a pedophile. End
— Ginger Lefty (@GingerLefty) December 3, 2017
Very limp, no wit, and no sign of the life observation skills actors frequently credit their character development to…
— Orla O’Reilly (@Orlameoreilly7) December 3, 2017