Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant brought back their crime-fighting duo, Les Dykowitz and Chubbina Fatserelli, on Saturday's episode of SNL, and this time they're here to save Christmas.
The original Dyke & Fats sketch aired in 2014, and took the form of a TV trailer for a 1980's police procedural that takes place in Chicago. McKinnon and Bryant play the crime fighting duo who star in the fictional show, which is called Dyke & Fats. The newest video is an updated trailer for a Christmas special of the show, where Dyke & Fats are now stopping bad guys using wreath lassos, but are still dealing with the same workplace sexism they were two years ago.
What's beautiful about the Dyke & Fats sketches, is that they allow McKinnon and Bryant to proudly take on the terms that have probably been used against them in their real lives, as a form of bullying. In the sketches, they serve as a way to mock the very two-dimensional female characters that television shows frequently create for women. It's painfully obvious that these names are familiar, uninteresting reductions of these women into stereotypes. In the latest trailer for "Dyke & Fats Save Christmas," we see Dyke's (McKinnon) eyes bulge out of her head when she opens a Christmas present that turns out to be a beautiful lady. Fats (Bryant) gift is an attractive man holding a sandwich, and of course Fats looks right past the man and goes wild for the sandwich he is holding. We groan to see this patronizing and uncomplex portrayal.
The flat characters make the viewer ask questions about the world in which this show was created: Would the actors who were playing Dyke & Fats in this 80's television show felt demeaned by the roles they were playing? Or were they just happy to have a leading role as a woman? The sketch is able to subtlely point out how far we've come since this type of show was the bread and butter of network programming, while also serving as a reminder that there's still a long way to go in the portrayal of complex women on television.
The best part of the sketch is the turn at the very end, when the slapstick fighting montage is over and we get a window into who these women are. After being congratulated on saving Christmas, the Chief says thank you and palpably pauses before saying their name. He decides to call them by their full names, instead of their nicknames (which is what got them in trouble in the 2014 sketch, when they yelled at the Chief that only they could call each other Dyke and Fats). "Thanks, Officer Dykowitz and Fatserelli," he says. And the duo thanks him for respecting them and using their full names. "Of course I respect you, you're two damn fine cops, for broads," he replies. And that's when the two officers rightfully go off on him, asking him, "we're back to the women thing? We're back to that?"
Progress is never a straight line forward, and in the wake of Clinton's loss in the election, a lot of people have been realizing we are indeed "back to the women thing" that many of us assumed we had moved past as a country. Dyke & Fats returned to SNL in a time of need, when we needed to be reminded that the struggle for women to find equality in the workplace and be accurately represented on TV and film is an ongoing one, that there's lots of work to do. The sketch makes you think about how far we've come as a society, while also feeling chillingly not far off from things we see today.
Watch the video and witness the punching up here: