Last night’s SNL was hosted by Chicago-based musician Chance the Rapper, and in one of the skits SNL took the time out to poke fun at hockey, which naturally included the New York Rangers. The premise of the skit was that the regular rink-side reporter for MSG was out on paternity leave, so the network’s Knicks reporter, played by Chance, had to fill in. Feeling out of place, the reporter mostly comments on how cold it is down by the ice (true) and how many strange and esoteric rules the game has (also true). The skit also features a cameo of sorts by a pretend Brady Skjei (bummer they couldn’t get the real Brady Skjei), who Chance interviews while struggling to pronounce his consonant-filled name. The doppelgänger Skjei does the typical hockey player thing and answers in vague, empty statements, which was a nice touch from the SNL writers.
All in all it was a lighthearted and fun way to have a little joke at the expense of the sport we all love, because even though hockey is near and dear to all of our hearts, we can admit that it’s a niche, overwhelmingly white sport (especially in one of the most diverse cities in the country) with a lot of silly rules. You’ve got to learn to laugh at yourself, and the tone of the sketch was such that it was laughing with hockey fans, not at hockey fans. In any event, it’s kind of neat to see some love for hockey in general and the Rangers in particular on national TV outside of NBC’s “Rivalry Night”.