In fact, tonight’s skit was somewhat of a sequel to the 2017 sketch, featuring some of the same Hallmark Christmas movie character types and tropes, a big-city career woman, a young Santa, a black character with no backstory, a prince, a Christmas tree farm, a snow globe and a gazebo.
This time, the setting was A Winter Boyfriend for Holiday Christmas, a Hallmark dating show created by the algorithm that makes Hallmark holiday movies. It featured a bachelorette, a New York career woman played by host Scarlett Johansson, and three eligible bachelors, a Christmas tree farm owner (and ghost), played by Beck Bennett, a Prince with a British accent (Alex Moffat), and Nick Sr. Claus (young Santa), played by Kyle Mooney).
The skit touched upon the often criticized lack of racial diversity in Hallmark’s Christmas movies. Moffat was “Prince Simon of Caucasia”, while Chris Redd’s character had a couple of lines, and said that he had no name or back story.
The skit aired amid a controversy surrounding Hallmark Channel’s decision to pull a commercial featuring a lesbian couple kissing on their wedding day.
Conservative group One Million Moms launched a campaign threatening boycott and urging the cable network to pull the ad, which they claimed promoted “the LGBT agenda.” The network complied, prompting #BoycottHallmark to start trending on Twitter.
The SNL skit appeared to make a subtle reference to the controversy at the end.
“The true reason for Christmas is husband,” Aidy Bryant’s dating show host said in signing off. “I’m Emily Kringle for Hallmark, reminding you to stay straight out there.
SNL addressed the controversy head-on during Weekend Update.
“The group One Million Moms is boycotting the Hallmark Channel for airing a commercial featuring a same-sex couple getting married and kissing,” co-anchor Michael Che said. “Ladies relax, if your kid is watching the Hallmark Channel, he already gay as hell.”
UPDATE: Hallmark Channel on Sunday reinstated the LGBTQ-inclusive advertisements for the wedding planning and registry company Zola.com
You can watch above the A Winter Boyfriend for Holiday Christmas sketch and below the Weekend Update segment (starts at 0:50″) and the 2017 Hallmark Channel Christmas movies SNL skit.