Nightmare Fuel: Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live's humor plays Nausea Fuel and Paranoia Fuel for satirical laughs, but doesn't really touch on Nightmare Fuel — at least not intentionally, as these examples will show you.
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A very, very, very disturbing sketch from 1987 where Phil Hartman plays an obstetrician who People Magazine is doing a story on because in 20 years of practice, he's delivered 4,300 babies, all girls. It becomes clear though that half those babies were boys and that the doctor convinced the parents they were girls and needed to have their genitals removed! Essentially he's mutilated 2000 little boys! When the People magazine reporter realizes this and confronts him, the doctor goes on an insane rant:
- "No! No, they weren't boys. They were little girls.. trapped in little boys' bodies.. [ music sweeps over him ] You see.. boys are.. bad. They have bad thoughts! Sometimes they disobey their mothers.. they have to be punished! [ sniffles ] But what do their mothers know, anyway.. [ weeping ] They're out all night with "Uncle Rudy"! But he's not my uncle! Why does she call him my "uncle"..? [ falls to the floor, crying ]
- Sinead O'Connor's a cappella cover of Bob Marley's "War" enters this. Forget her infamous act after finishing the song, there's nothing right about the way she sings into the camera the whole time, with cold eyes, no music backing her, lit candles everywhere behind her, and especially when the camera zooms in towards the end. The shaved head doesn't help, either.
- The "Canteen Boy Gets Molested" sketch due to playing the Adult Fear of child molestation (especially within a seemingly wholesome club as The Boy Scouts) for laughs. While Mr. Armstrong (played by episode host Alec Baldwin) didn't end up having sex with Canteen Boy (Adam Sandler), it's still disturbing when you realize that (a) Canteen Boy can't run away because Mr. Armstrong is too fast for him, (b) he can't tell anyone what happened to him because everyone thinks he's an autistic freak, and (c) even if he did just run away into the woods, there's the chance he could die from exposure or the animals living there. Fortunately, Canteen Boy does summon snakes to get revenge on Mr. Armstrong and the reruns have a disclaimer that says that Canteen Boy is actually a 27-year-old man who just acts like a child.
- The "Wake up and Smile" sketch, mainly for how surprisingly violent and disturbing the events in the sketch escalate to. The sketch involves a morning news program celebrating its 20th anniversary. The hosts are depicted and cheery and enthusiastic as they should, but when the teleprompter brakes down, the hosts panic due to the lack of direction they are used to. To help fix the issue, they cut to commercial in the hopes that the prompter will be fixed when they return, but it doesn't work. Whenever the show cuts back, the hosts get more and more hysterical, to the point that Will Ferrell's character turns into a crazy cannibalistic tribe leader that turns his fellow hosts into savages. During a struggle for dominance, Will Ferrell's character decapitates the weather man after the latter challenges him. It should be noted that the viewers get a full view of the bloody decapitated head, with blood spewing out of the open neck wound as Will Ferrell begins to eat from it. Once the prompter finally gets fixed, the hosts, clearly shaken by what had transpired, sign off.
- The Tizzle Wizzle Show digital short. Besides the drug-addled knife fight and the end where James Franco is freaking out over what happened, what's really scary about the sketch is that you don't see any of it coming. It starts out with a kids' show flavor and, since it's a Digital Short, viewers will immediately assume it's going to be something silly and funny in an Internet meme way.
- From the Jim Carrey episode, we have The Merryville Brothers. The Uncanny Valley on the faces of Jim Carrey, Bill Hader, and Taran Killam, combined with the gruesome ending (Thompson's character was originally going to be beheaded on-screen, but the censors wouldn't allow it, though having him being dragged off-camera while a crude copy of his robot clone appears does make the point that he's going to meet the same fate as the women on the original 1970s film version of The Stepford Wives) make this skit a little unsettling.
- The Acupuncture sketch from the episode hosted by Kristen Wiig has been called the most terrifying sketch produced in the history of the show. Two acupuncturists (played by Kristen Wiig and then-new feature player, Aidy Bryant) attempt to give their client (played by Jason Sudeikis) an acupuncture, but not everything goes to plan.
- The acupuncturists tricking the man into drinking his own blood.
- The skin bubble that forms when the acupuncturists use masking tape to stop the bleeding.
- The end where they leave the man to die while they flee to Mexico.
- On the Edward Norton episode, there is a sketch where two pest control workers (played by Norton and new cast member Brooks Wheelan) try to get rid of some possums in the vent. In the end, they get sucked in and presumably eaten alive while the office workers who saw then get eaten just agree that they didn't see anything.
- If the "Acupuncture" sketch from Kristen Wiig's episode counts, then the "Bikini Beach Party" sketch from Charlize Theron's definitely does. The entire sketch spoofs camp 1960s TV shows, with the surf music and beaches. The characters only casually mention the "big dead whale full of deadly toxic gases". When Taran Killam decides to serenade Theron near the whale, it explodes, covering the two with blood and whale guts, sending the audience into hysterics. (In much the same manner as the "Acupuncture", might I add!) Covered in blood, the two move over to the second decomposing whale opposite, where the exact thing happens again. (The explosion wrinkles the soft backdrop behind them.)