WATCH: SNL's Latest Sketch Takes On The Unexpected Danger Of Being Famous In NYC

By Greg Moriarty | Monday, 20 May 2024 09:30 AM
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The 49th season of the popular television show Saturday Night Live (SNL) concluded with a sketch that humorously addressed a serious issue: the safety of character actors in New York City.

This came in response to an incident earlier this month when Steve Buscemi, a well-known actor and frequent collaborator with comedian Adam Sandler, was assaulted by a homeless individual.

The sketch featured host Jake Gyllenhaal, portraying a police sergeant, who announced the formation of a new task force aimed at protecting these actors. The task force, humorously named the "Organization to Hinder Harmful Incidents in Manhattan" or "Oh, him," was inspired by the unprovoked attack on Buscemi.

Gyllenhaal, in character, stated at a press conference, "Summer is coming up and we are seeing an increase in random acts of violence across our streets. Just this week, national treasure Steve Buscemi was punched while walking through Kips Bay." He continued, "These types of attacks cannot and will not be tolerated."

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The assault on Buscemi, which occurred on the morning of May 8, resulted in the actor suffering "bleeding to his eye, swelling, bruising, and substantial pain." The assailant left the scene nonchalantly after the attack. This incident is not an isolated one, as it follows similar attacks on actors Rick Moranis and Michael Stuhlbarg, Buscemi's co-star in "Boardwalk Empire."

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Gyllenhaal's character emphasized the issue, stating, "Character actors are being targeted." He explained that these actors are those whose faces are recognizable, but whose names are often forgotten.

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The sketch humorously suggested that character actors are particularly at risk if they have appeared on the television show "Boardwalk Empire," have a unique look that casting directors find intriguing, or have an extensive list of roles on their IMDB page, but their characters often only have a first name.

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Gyllenhaal reassured viewers that the NYPD was addressing the issue, stating, "We're offering protection to character actors we know are at risk." The sketch included a list of actors who should be cautious, including Stephen Root, Judy Greer, Walton Goggins, and Stephen Tobolowsky, among others.

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The sketch also featured a surprise appearance from "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm, who humorously asked if he should be concerned about his safety. Gyllenhaal's character reassured him, stating, "No, I think you're fine."

The SNL sketch served as a humorous commentary on a serious issue, highlighting the need for safety and protection for all individuals, regardless of their level of fame or recognizability. The sketch also underscored the unique challenges faced by character actors, who, despite their significant contributions to film and television, often remain "that guy" or "that lady" in the eyes of the public.

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