For die-hard nerds who follow each twist and turn of the S.N.L. season, there was no doubt who must have been responsible for the latest cut-for-time sketch out of last weekend’s Natalie Portman episode. A dark companion piece to 2016’s “Wells for Boys,” this new ad, “My Little Stepchildren,” came from the weird and wonderful mind of writer Julio Torres.
Torres, the mastermind behind strange, moody little sketches like “Melania’s Moments” and “Diego Calls His Mom,” made such an impression during last year’s 42nd, Emmy-winning season of Saturday Night Live that he earned what few behind-the-scenes presences usually do: a lengthy profile in The New York Times. But in the show’s 43rd season, as edgier comedians Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneiderleft the head-writer slot and Weekend Update’s Colin Jost and Michael Che were promoted in their place, there has apparently been less room for Torres’s off-kilter humor. “My Little Stepchildren” didn’t run last weekend; not one, but two sketches with farting noises as punch lines did.
In fact, Torres’s weird work has been very scarce this season on S.N.L. He wrote a digital short for host Kumail Nanjiani, but otherwise has been seen more frequently bringing his trademark perspective as the Holiday Correspondent to S.N.L. alum Jimmy Fallon’sThe Tonight Show.
Then again, as Torres himself pointed out on Twitter, the fact that “My Little Stepchildren” was cut for time matters less in a digital age when most people watch S.N.L. sketches online anyway. “‘My Little Step Children‘ were incinerated for time,” he tweeted with characteristic macabre flair, “but their spirits live on in the Internet.” Torres can also take comfort that at least someone associated with S.N.L.—original cast member and comedy legend Laraine Newman—appreciated his creepy little stepchildren.
In the meantime, we can only hope that more of Torres’s strange humor makes it on air this S.N.L. season—and fewer fart jokes.
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