Last night on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Andy Samberg treated Jay to one of his signature man-on-man kisses (no homo). It’s funny when men kiss each other, you see, because why would two men ever do that?! Guys kissing guys is just plain wacky.
The bit was actually a reprisal of a recent commencement speech at Harvard wherein Samberg passionately kissed a male student, as well as numerous nearly identical bits he’s done on Saturday Night Live over the years, if we’re being honest. And if “haha, I’m pretending to be gay” can really be considered a “bit.”
I get it that it’s funny when people do something you don’t expect them to do. Straight guys don’t generally kiss other guys, so it’s theoretically surprising, I suppose. However, when “LOL, WE’RE GAY (NO HOMO)” is the entire substance of a joke (as it has been in so many SNL sketches), I can’t help thinking that joke is a least a little bit homophobic, even if the comedian “didn’t mean it that way.” Remember when people thought it was funny for white people to dress up like black people? Yeah. And anyway, Samberg’s done it so many times now that it can’t rightly be considered a “surprise” anymore.
Maybe that’s why when Jay’s second guest, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane sat down, he quickly distanced himself from Samberg by saying “I’m not going to kiss you.” You can say what you like about Family Guy, but I think Seth actually does a much better job than Andy (or anyone at SNL, for that matter) at making jokes about homophobia, rather than homophobic jokes. And one of his characters is a talking homosexual baby.