There’s a long Saturday Night Live tradition of riffing on bizarre movie tie-in merchandise. Thirty years ago, that involved a sketch about Philadelphia action figures, the punchline being how utterly bizarre it would be to have action figures for a prestige drama like Philadelphia. This week, the show took on a distinctively shaped piece of tie-in merchandise for Dune: Part Two. In this case, though, the punchline was that the product at the heart of the sketch is entirely real.
That product? A Dune-themed popcorn bucket with an attachment shaped like a sandworm. A Kotaku headline accurately called it “the stuff of nightmares,” and several members of the film’s cast are also bewildered by the design.
The sketch followed two high school students — played by Ayo Edebiri and Marcello Hernández — whose flirtation takes a turn for the bizarre. It’s also told mostly through song, which just adds to the “What the hell am I watching?” of it all. If you thought that SNL‘s musical numbers couldn’t get any weirder than “Fully Naked in New York,” this sketch might just prove you wrong.
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Perhaps the best moment of the sketch comes when the lyrics get meta. “All around the world, children will buy this/ That Dune popcorn bucket,” the cast sings. “We didn’t make this up/ This is a real thing.” When reality gets more absurd than absurdist comedy, sometimes you just have to embrace it. This sketch does it — with a catchy hook to boot.
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