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SNL did President Barbie way before Greta Gerwig, it turns out

Saturday Night Live can usually be found commentating on current events, but this past sketch may have beat the Barbie movie to the chase in its theme.

Barbie movie: President Barbie played by Issa Rae

We fully expect Barbie to be the subject of memes, sketches, and satire galore going forward after its release. After all, prior to the Barbie release date, it’s already found its way into the cultural zeitgeist, mostly thanks to Ken and his himbo ways.

But it turns out, if you look into the archives of one of the longest-running and best comedy series around, Saturday Night Live, you may find a sketch that has an eerily similar theme to that of the new Margot Robbie movie.

President Barbie is one of the many dolls running around in one of 2023’s best movies, and she’s played in the Barbie cast by Issa Rae. But ‘President Barbie’ was brought to the screen even earlier than the movie. Seven years ago, to be exact.

Back in 2016, when the MCU‘s Brie Larson was hosting SNL, there was a pre-recorded sketch called ‘President Barbie’. It shows a group of girls playing with their toys, and a false advertisement voiceover narrates the introduction of a new doll: President Barbie.

But the girls don’t seem too interested in the new Mattel toy, who is modeled to resemble Hilary Clinton. In fact, the girls actively reject President Barbie, pushing away Mattel’s fictional feminist schema.

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Sound familiar? It does sound somewhat familiar to the themes and explorations of feminism in one the summer’s most anticipated new movies. In fact, the Barbie movie is essentially about how the Barbie’s assumed that they’ve solved feminism simply by existing, and presenting versions of themselves that can allow young girls to have unlimited dreams.

So while the SNL sketch may not be a feature length movie, it is a surprising connection that suggests people have been thinking about the layers that come with the Barbie doll’s legacy for a long time. That said, we think the movie has probably done the better job — just read our Barbie review to find out why!

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For more on Barbie, take a look at our Barbie ending explained and Barbie post-credit scene guides. You can also see if there’s a Barbie 2 release date in the works, and take a look at all the best Ryan Gosling movies. You can also check out our list of the best TV series, and see why Ken isn’t the movie’s villain, it’s the patriarchy.