Just how bad was Leslie Jones and Chris Rock’s “The Couple” sketch from the most recent episode of SNL? The awkward pause that seemed to last an eternity has been edited out in the Hulu clip. This could be a common occurrence, and I’ve just never noticed, but it’s particularly apparent here, especially to anyone who remembers seeing Jones’ deer-in-headlights look.
In his recap on Splitsider, Erik Voss explains that what was happening behind the scenes might have been the reason it bombed so hard.
We’re being told that this sketch was actually written by writers Chris Rock brought in, not the normal SNL writing staff. Comedians bringing in outside writers has happened before (Jerry Seinfeld and Richard Pryor being examples), and it’s not something those writers rooms were crazy about. (Via)
SNL conspiracy theorists, of which there at least four, probably, might claim that Jones intentionally sabotaged the sketch (she’s on the writing staff, after all), but the more likely explanation is: it just wasn’t very good. Both Jones, who I think is a strong addition to the cast, and Rock are clearly reading the cue cards, so their lines could have changed at the last second or, again, it just wasn’t very good. Let’s go with that.