Review | Really, Morgan Wallen? Is that what you call an apology?

The country music star’s SNL comeback was supposed to be funny. It wasn’t.

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Courtesy of Saturday Night Live

I think we all remember the Morgan Wallen scandal from this past October, particularly because this was the first time many of us had ever heard of him. 

If you need a refresher, Morgan Wallen is a slightly successful country singer who came down to UA in a pandemic and partied and made out with college girls in Innisfree. Wallen, who was supposed to be Saturday Night Live’s musical guest in October, was promptly uninvited for violating the show’s COVID-19 protocols.

However, this past Saturday, Wallen was reinvited onto the show, and he even participated in a sketch making fun of his actions while in Alabama. The sketch would’ve been a good look for Wallen if it had been funny. Instead, Jason Bateman carried the scene on his back, while Wallen apologized for hurting his burgeoning music career.

Now, I’m not here to talk about Morgan Wallen’s music career. I have never heard a song by him, and I don’t particularly want to. Instead, I want to talk about how Morgan Wallen is trying to make fun of a mistake that he made not very long ago – a mistake that he only felt bad about when he was called out by the entire internet and lost some gigs.

I get that people make mistakes. In fact, I’m proud of Wallen for being able to apologize and make fun of his past self. But watching the sketch was unbearable and feels like an ill attempt at a PR stunt.

The sketch starts with Morgan Wallen in a bar that looks exactly like Innisfree. He raises a beer to ‘No consequences!’ while a face mask hangs on his neck. He starts talking to a sorority girl, who talks about her boobs, TikTok and kissing. 

To me, it’s not a problem that the sorority girl is a stereotype. The problem is that the sorority girl character is unfunny and has almost no role in the sketch other than being stupid. When she’s on the screen, her dumb blonde accent and fake drunk acting are uncomfortable to watch and add no humor to the sketch whatsoever.

I’ve gone to the University of Alabama for quite a while now, and I love it when people make fun of the University and its students. I mean, I follow Barstool UA just like everybody else. But SNL’s version of a UA bar is bland and lacks any character that makes the University of Alabama so special and funny. 

This sketch could have happened in any bar at an SEC town, and I wouldn’t have known the difference. When it came to SNL poking fun at Tuscaloosa’s party culture, I expected them to absolutely run with it. They failed.

Finally, Jason Bateman bursts onto the scene declaring that he is Morgan Wallen from the future. He’s dressed in the same cowboy boots and camouflage face mask. At the beginning, he tries to warn the real Morgan Wallen to stop breaking COVID-19 protocols, but he eventually gives up and asks for another round.

Unsurprisingly, Jason Bateman’s act is the best part of the entire sketch. He’s a well-known comedy actor and he knows how to poke fun of individuals by impersonating them. My favorite part was when he started to pick his belly button – a quiet jab at Wallen.

The pair talk about how Wallen asked the sorority girl not to post any videos or photos of him on social media, calling it an “airtight approach” to saving their reputation. I actually liked this joke because rather than placing the blame on the girl, who posted the TikTok of her and Wallen kissing back in October, they blame Wallen for ever thinking that that was going to work.

After this, Bateman and Wallen talk in a bid to make Wallen seem apologetic for what he did. Then, Bowen Yang bursts onto the scene and declares that he is Wallen from even further in the future. It’ll make you smile when Yang, who looks nothing like Wallen, tries to act like him and pretend that he is him. 

In fact, the actors’ attempts at Southern accents were the funniest parts of the sketch. They were hilariously drawn out and slow with almost unrecognizable tinges of country. Unfortunately for Wallen, he has a real Southern accent so he can’t even be given props for this.

Lastly, Pete Davidson appears on the scene in a cloud of weed smoke and makes fun of weed for a line or two. Nothing particularly important or funny happens, but it’s nice to see Pete Davidson.

My problem with this sketch is that it’s trying too hard to save Wallen’s reputation. We live in a world where apology tours and so-called cancel culture pervade the entertainment industry, so I think I’m pretty well-versed in what makes an apology a good one. 

I might have accepted Wallen’s apology had it been funny and not unbearable to watch. But instead, he had to make me relive his entire scandal in a neat four-minute and forty-nine second YouTube video that barely even made me crack a smile.