When Kit Harington hosted SNL last week it all but guaranteed their regular audience would skew more nerd. So, maybe as some kind of attempt to connect with that segment of the population, they aired this sketch, in which nerds compete to be Employee of the Month.
But fans on Twitter didn't take kindly to this particular portrayal of the nerd archetype. It wasn't the portrayal of sexual blackmail, but instead it was the insinuation that D&D enthusiasts are somehow weird. It's 2019, after all, and not only are nerds cool now, but they want to get the word out about it!
See?? They wear wristbands and have cool hair and everything! They can do everything the cool kids do, even make a trending hashtag on Twitter!
Unfortunately, SNL has a spotty history when it comes to nerd representation. We can actually trace the origins of this all the way back to the beginning of the show itself, when Gilda Radner regularly played a classic nerd character.
These nerd characters are definitely problematic by today's standards, but who are we to judge the past? This was the 70's after all, long before nerds would become cool. Their emergence into the mainstream probably began around the time this next sketch, which skewers every corner of nerddom, aired.
If you can get over Paris Hilton being in this, because yes there was a time when that was considered okay, you'll notice that sketch sent up every kind of nerd. Not just the D&D variety. But again, this was when nerd power had not yet leveled up to Legendary status, so there wasn't much that could be done. Nowadays, SNL usually knows not to challenge the powerful nerd lobby, like in this recent sketch where they went after jocks, for once.
But look, it's understandable that nerds would feel slighted by the Kit Harrington sketch. After all, they're nerds, that's their job. Maybe though we can all agree that in the right context, from the right angle, at the right time, and in the right place, making fun of nerds is actually very hilarious.
I rest my case.