Next month, NBC is celebrating Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary with a live anniversary special, and the network has been prepping for this television event for the past year in the form of an overload of product tie-ins, commercials featuring cast members, and enough branded SNL merchandise to make Jack Donaghy cry with joy. With the latest news that SNL will get the interactive art exhibit treatment this spring, we decided to break down five of SNL’s most ridiculous promotions and tie-ins of the past year, from least to most ridiculous.
Ben & Jerry’s added a Schweddy Balls ice cream back in 2011, but for the 40th anniversary they also added three new sketch-inspired flavors: Gilly’s Catastrophic Crunch, Lazy Sunday, and Two Wild & Crazy Pies. Given the fact that ice cream is delicious and both Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon have Ben & Jerry’s flavors in their honor, this product tie-in isn’t too shameful aside from the missed opportunity to include Mango.
In August, SNL teamed up with gift company IT’SUGAR to roll out a line of snacks and candy based on famous sketches and characters – everything from real boxes of “Colon Blow” to tins of Annuale mints. If you’re willing to pay $16 for a box of cereal, more power to you.
Did anyone out there earn the cardholder exclusive SNL™ leather wallet yet??
2. The Cecily Strong/Michael Che Jeep commercials
It’s understandable that NBC might want to bank off the hype around SNL’s anniversary with a commercial tie-in, but the recent Jeep spots starring Cecily Strong and Michael Che left a sour taste for most fans who felt that a show known for biting commercial parodies wouldn’t slip in a real ad right after a live sketch.
It doesn’t get more ridiculous than this, but SNL still has another month to beat it: the SNL-inspired Saks Fifth Avenue clothing line, featuring designs pulled directly from the worlds of the Californians, Mary Katherine Gallagher, and of course Gilly. If you need a new beanie for the winter, you’re in luck – the Coneheads beanie by Eugenia Kim is now on sale for just $157.50. I’ll be saving my money for the SNL Caribbean Cruise, which will probably exist just in time for this summer.