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I say this without any sort of pretension or disdain for the sketch-comedy genre, but I genuinely can’t recall the last time I watched a full episode of Saturday Night Live. This definitely isn’t unique to me. Like many people my age, I tend to catch whichever dreadfully cringe or occasionally brilliant, usually Pedro Pascal-featured skits go viral the next morning. I don’t really know who any of the current players are, aside from gems Bowen Yang and Ego Nwodim.
However, I’ve recently become hyper-aware of one new-ish SNL troupe, not because of their virality, per se, but because a certain sector of the internet seems fed up with them. As you may have already guessed, they’re, indeed, nepo babies.
In last week’s episode, hosted by Timothée Chalamet, the comedy trio Please Don’t Destroy generated controversy for a very lame Hamas “joke” during one of their routine sketches. (It was more of a name-drop designed to shock than an actual joke, IMO. Still sucked!) It turns out people, particularly in the comedy space, have long despised the boys’ post on SNL, given that two of them are the sons of comedians with direct ties to the institution: John Higgins is the son and doppelganger of Tonight Show announcer and SNL producer, Steve Higgins. And Martin Herlihy is the offspring of Adam Sandler’s comedy partner, Tim Herlihy. The third member, Ben Marshall, is just a regular dude who befriended them at NYU (a second-gen nepo baby, ostensibly).
In their time on the air, they’ve earned comparisons to The Lonely Island, three other white dudes who utilized the digital-short medium and became their own SNL spin-off franchise. However, my first encounter with Please Don’t Destroy—their viral sketch “Three Sad Virgins” featuring Taylor Swift—told me that they’re absolutely nothing like their SNL forefathers. The Lonely Island’s sketches had originality, absurdity, and charisma—all which are mostly lacking in Please Don’t Destroy’s bumbling-incel act.
Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Tacconne were dorky white dudes, knowingly uncool and clearly out of their element while performing various hip-hop and R&B parodies. However, they were so exuberant and committed to their schtick that consuming their comedy inadvertently felt kind of cool. On the other hand, watching a bunch of timid, awkward white dudes be timid, awkward, and white doesn’t exactly thrill me!
Nevertheless, here we are. After merely two years on SNL, these very-okay comedians are somehow (nepotism) starring in their own movie on Peacock. Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain, which started streaming Nov. 17, has been politely panned by critics. The 90-minute film—although, it feels much longer—is a mix of The Goonies and every nerd comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg or Michael Cera that came out in the late 2000s.
Foggy Mountain follows the three friends, who work at an outdoor supply chain, on a perilous search for a gold bust of Marie Antoinette worth $100 million. The stakes here aren’t really high, unless you consider working in retail in your mid-20s the worst existence possible. One of them, John (Higgins), is just sad.
Speaking of which, there are supporting performances from Conan O’Brien, X Mayo, Meg Stalter and Yang—plus a needle-drop of “Crank That (Soulja Boy)”—that occasionally make an otherwise bland story feel worthy of a cinematic presentation. But for the most part, the trio’s sketch instincts, underwhelming humor, and lackluster personas don’t translate well to the big screen.
For a movie with such a fantastical premise, it feels oppositely grounded and uncommitted to its sillier elements, like the dudes’ run-ins with wildlife, a penis accident, and even a cult led by Yang’s character. Everything from the plot to the action sequences to certain bits could use some beefing up, but especially the main protagonists. I feel like a feature-length movie is the ideal opportunity to really sketch out these characters and give them individual nuance. But Higgins, Herlihy, and Marshall are all doing slight (boring) variations of the same Jonah Hill impression, and it gets olds very quickly.
That said, their performances aren’t terrible. Out of everyone, I would say Higgins feels the most suited for comedy stardom, which I guess has already been granted to thim. I can applaud Herlihy, the most cartoonishly geeky one of the bunch, for delivering the weird—even if something about him makes me deeply uncomfortable. Funnily enough, Marshall gave the flattest performance out of everyone. (I was rooting for you, non-nepo baby!) It should be said, though, that none of these performances are really that demanding. Again, Michael Cera could do all three roles at the same time in his sleep.
So The Treasure of Foggy Mountain, like most SNL movie spin-offs, is far from a comedy classic. But does it really matter? Please Don’t Destroy has already received the seal of approval from Judd Apatow, who produced the movie and is committed to boosting the careers of mediocre white men. O’Brien obviously likes these guys. Through the nepotism powers that be, they even got John Goodman to do a voice-over. I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if Peacock announced a film trilogy in a few days.
Thankfully, the comedy scene is fractured enough nowadays that these guys, even with all their success, aren’t truly stars. I’m not sure that they ever will be. I also clearly don’t give a shit about SNL or view Lorne Michael as an authority on comedy, so who cares? I just wish a producer were smart enough to transform this project into a buddy comedy starring Mayo and Stalter as polar-opposite park rangers. Now that’s the unnecessary streaming film we deserve!
We update regularly World Latest Breaking News here. We update 2023-11-18 08:04:36 this news story from official website – https://www.thedailybeast.com/obsessed/nepo-baby-of-the-week-please-dont-destroy-is-unfortunately-indestructible.”
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