After watching and re-watching the now-legendary Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” segment that aired last weekend, I couldn’t help but think of this line from Stephen Sondheim’s “Sand in the Clowns.” could do The song is from “A Little Night Music” and is sung by a character who, like Sondheim, as he says in an interview, “is too upset and too angry to talk.”
Comedian Cecily Strong, on the other hand, can speak loud and clear. When Strong, 37, appeared as Goof the Clown, talking about Goof the Clown’s miscarriage, she was actually sharing a story about herself on live television, which (as (that he posted on Instagram Stories) hadn’t told his mother in years.
“You don’t have to do this, Cecily,” SNL cast member Colin Jost said at one point in the sketch, which aired in response to Supreme Court arguments over a highly restrictive abortion law in Texas. “Who is Cecily?” She fired back, “I’m a piece of shit. And I wish I didn’t have to because the abortion I had at 23 is my own business, but some people in this country talk about it all the time. I want to talk.
Abortion is a difficult subject and, as Gober explains, it helps to use “funny clown stuff to make it more fun.” This is what great comedians have been doing since the beginning of time. So I can’t stop looking at this sketch, I really can’t. As long as we live in a country where abortion is decriminalized and banned, I will continue to press play.
Of course, there were anti-choice critics who were quick to express their outrage. They claimed that abortion is no fun. Really? Well, at least we can all agree on that! Talking about any part of the procedure didn’t bring laughter. The humor comes from Gober/Cicely’s ability to use the phrase “clown abortion” to call attention to an environment that makes it nearly impossible for women to tell their abortion stories without stigma. Gives. Don’t let my expression of happiness mislead you.
Some people thought that this was very absurd. But it had to be: How can I point out the long absurdities that the Texas legislature (and other states) have taken to deny women their constitutional right?
The best thing about Goober the Clown was that he made people listen to him. In addition, he got people to open up and talk. He started a dialogue and that’s the point of comedy, people.
When you think about it, only a clown could have delivered that message. Clowns, while somewhat scary, are not threatening. They are asexual. They are not real. Clowns are simple and hassle-free, so who better to uncomplicate the problem than Goober.
Let’s face it, there’s no way Strong could have told his story through the lens of one of his other iconic characters. Girl Wouldn’t you like to chat at a party? Very confusing and unclear. Kathy Ann? So lost and…