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The women of Saturday Night Live tell men shocked by sexual harassment revelations, "Welcome To Hell"

Cecily Strong, Saoirse Ronan, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Leslie Jones (Screenshot: NBC)

On last night’s very good Saoirse Ronan-hosted Saturday Night Live, the show’s women wheeled out another in SNL’s winning string of female-fronted music videos. Always cleverly conceived and ably performed by the show’s female cast members and hosts, last night’s new entry—which addressed the now-daily exposure of powerful, often beloved men with creepy sexual sides—took the form of a wickedly nasty lesson to those guys suddenly awakening to the issue. “Hey there boys,” coos Cecily Strong, one of a Spice Girls-esque girl group alongside Ronan, Kate McKinnon, and Aidy Bryant, “We know the last couple months have been frickin’ insane.” Continues Bryant, “All these big, cool, powerful guys are turning out to be—what’s the word—habitual predators?” Echoing guys outraged that House Of Cards is all spoiled now, the quartet feigns wide-eyed sympathy before launching into their musical greeting to the real world, “Welcome To Hell.”

The vapid, upbeat bubblegum tone of the song never wavers, even as the women (and guest vocalist Leslie Jones, who reminds the four that women of color have it “a million times worse”) run down a truly horrifying-in-its-ordinariness list of all the things women have to put up with every damned day. Keys bristling defensively through fingers, perpetual wariness, secret door-locking desk buttons—all smilingly thrust into the faces of those dudes complaining that all this sexual harassment and assault news is totally getting them down. (A truly dispiriting roster of things that have been ruined for all time for women includes: parking, walking, Uber, ponytails, bathrobes, nighttime, drinking, hotels, vans.) As featured player Melissa Villaseñor puts it after showing up as equally abused female icons from Joan of Arc to the “We Can Do It!” factory worker, “That’s why your momma’s always so tired.” In a deceptively defiant anthem signaling the end of silently accepting the shitty state of affairs so that men won’t feel too uncomfortable enjoying their privilege, the coquettishly crooning singers conclude, “Yeah, it ain’t fair, but pull up a chair.” Welcome to hell, boys.


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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.