Biopics have become all the rage these days. It seems that every awards season features at least one motion picture that chronicles the life of a beloved or controversial figure. Sometimes Hollywood gets the casting right on these movies, while other times they seem completely miss the mark. Last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live featured a mock trailer for a potential Oprah Winfrey biopic featuring comedian Mike O'Brien's intentionally awful impersonation of the iconic talk show host. Check out the video below to see for yourself.
A mock trailer for an Oprah Winfrey biopic titled Oprah Winfrey: A Life of Love, the Saturday Night Live sketch begins in a very melodramatic manner. It chronicles the trials and tribulations of legendary talk show host Oprah Winfrey, but then introduces her as being played by comedian Mike O’Brien. Over the course of the video, the trailer portrays O’Brien, barely making an effort to resemble Oprah, as people praise him/her as a symbol of incredible business acumen, and major female empowerment.
What ultimately sells the humor of the sketch is Mike O’Brien’s commitment to his deadpan delivery and the way that deadpan delivery is juxtaposed with the animated and enthusiastic performances of those around him. Everyone who interacts with his take on Oprah Winfrey either possesses an unwavering sense of support, or a villainous need to see him fail. It’s Oscar worthy in a real Hollywood biopic, but here it just makes for some good, old-fashioned comedy gold – my personal favorite moment is the recreation of Tom Cruise’s iconic couch jumping.
The whole Saturday Night Live sketch appears to make a statement about the fairly commonplace practice of miscasting actors in major Hollywood biopics. Although a film chronicling the life of Oprah Winfrey has yet to actually hit theaters, it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to believe that a film studio could potentially miscast her character in a major way.
We here at Cinema Blend only recently reported on a similarly controversial phenomenon. A new trailer for Nina recently dropped – a film that chronicles the life of iconic singer Nina Simone – and many fans felt a sharp sense of outrage over the casting of actress Zoe Saldana. Although not quite as severe as the Saturday Night Live parody featuring Mike O’Brien, both instances show a strong indication of Hollywood somewhat missing the mark when the cast iconic public figures.
What did you think of the Saturday Night Live sketch above? Is it just some goofy fun, or does it have something deeper to say? Let us know what you think in the comments section below to keep the conversation going! Be sure to stay tuned for all of the latest and greatest Saturday Night Live sketches!