Friday, December 4, 2009

Double Vision

One of Will Ferrell's most well known characters during his time on Saturday Night Live was Alex Trebek. As Trebek, he hosted a parody version of Celebrity Jeopardy--he was the straight man (in comedic terms), surrounded by moronic celebrity contestants.

Come Ferrell's final episode on the series as a regular cast member, there was a special end to the sketch, which can be seen from roughly 6:00 on in the embedded clip below.

This is disconcerting, for we've become used to a world of accepting these characters as "real," albeit within a humorous characterized world. When the real figure appears, this serves as an immediate reminder of the SNL version being nothing but a comedy show. Ferrell may do a wonderful impersonation, but it's only that, which makes the final minute of the clip somewhat awkward, since he's still in character.

Our reading included: "postmodernism is, in some of its manifestations, about citation or quotation both in terms of referencing other texts and in terms of putting things in quotes to indicate a kind of distancing irony" (Sturken and Cartwright 321). The SNL clip does just that, by pulling the rug of reality out from under us.

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