Jason Bateman returned to host SNL for the first time in fifteen years on Saturday, bringing a little controversy with him. While some would think the outrage would surround musical guest Morgan Wallen due to his ignorance surrounding coronavirus rules, that is not the case.
Instead, Bateman's monologue dug up a controversial moment from the Arrested Development star's initial hosting appearance. During the show, Bateman took part in a sketch titled, "Monkeys Throwing Poop at Celebrities." It isn't a sketch that is memorable off the top of fans' heads, but it was notable for its use of a real chimpanzee as the titular "monkey."
As Bateman explains, the chimp returned for the closing moments of the show and had a close encounter with the host. Not only does the animal look upset on stage, but it also seems to almost take a swipe at Bateman's lips, causing the Ozark star to start to jump back, startled.
He notes that if the sketch happened today, the animal would likely be replaced by a puppet. However, many live animals still make hilarious appearances on the show. But the chimp is a problem given their nature and history of incidents. It is also a problem because Bateman referred to the chimpanzee as a "monkey" and joked about having it killed, stirring some outrage with those watching at home.
Something kinda weird happened the first time Jason Bateman hosted. pic.twitter.com/GLHw0D2qDG— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 6, 2020
Many comments on social media were upset at the chimp's mislabeling, while others used it as another excuse to attack SNL over its quality compared to the old days. A few pointed out the frightening reality of the moment, including former castmember Rachel Dratch who was next to Bateman and seemed to be terrified by the moment.
Scroll down to see some of the responses the trip down memory lane spawned. Luckily the chimp is reportedly fine, so we don't have to worry about the extreme.
Punchline: and then we had the monkey destroyed, it was my choice 😂😬😮— Grey Winter Wonderland ❄️ (@thedarkhours) December 6, 2020
A baby chimpanzee. If it was an adult male it would have ripped off both your arms and beat you to death before eating your face.— Amber (@onion_amber) December 6, 2020
Nothing funny about exploitation of non-human primates.— Ellen H Ullman Ⓥ (@CureT1Diabetes) December 6, 2020
Wtf was this Jason? Wth you talking monkeys and crapp rn. Even 15 years ago it was wrong. Maybe give it a sentence but move on to ANY relevant topic.— gritsygirl (@gritsygirl1) December 6, 2020
SNL wasted your talents again.
I didn't think the chimp was trying to bite his face off.
Dumb premise for a monologue. The show needs new writers. New blood. Get rid of Keenan and Kate. It's time.— Sebastian Reimerson (@SReimerson) December 6, 2020
Thank you. Jason puts his face right into the young chimp’s face who is collared and leashed. The chimp displays teeth defensively and turns his back on Jason.— Bronwyne (@dognessblog) December 6, 2020
Difference of Opinion!
Imagine for a second in real life where two people are talking about Jason Batemans monkey story and from literally nowhere you just have to tell them that chimps aren’t monkeys. It’s your sworn destiny for people to be informed on this or else whats the meaning of life.— Wumbo (@Wumbo36537860) December 6, 2020
Blame the Show
The shows not for you. It and life has passed you by. I’m sure you don’t understand a lot of comedy/pop culture these days. I bet when u watch TV you constantly say “who’s that” “what is he talking about”. PBS is probably more your speed. pic.twitter.com/SLX0D6qNNQ— RBI44 (@RBI442) December 6, 2020