Super Bowl commercials are still a big, huge, massive, crazy deal, with major corporations shelling out absurd amounts of money on ads designed to win over the most reliably large and receptive audience in all of televised sports. So of course ‘SNL’ was going to contribute its own commercial parody to the mix...but man, no one was expecting something this mean, scathing or on-point.
Seemingly an ad for Totino’s (AKA, no one’s favorite pizza brand that is still omnipresent at social events), the commercial follows a housewife (Vanessa Bayer) who spends the Super Bowl preparing pizza rolls for her “hungry guys,” including her husband played by guest host J.K. Simmons. But since women aren’t allowed to actually watch the game, Bayer is able to escape to the kitchen and pass the time with her Totino’s Super Bowl Activity Kit For Women!
When she’s not taking care of her “hungry guys” by warming up more snacks or fetching beer, she can play paddleball! Or solve three-letter word searches! Or enjoy a single Totino’s Pizza Roll of her own! Yep, the activity pack contains plenty of things to keep a five-year-old girl occupied, so it has to work for a grown woman!
The sketch really works because of Bayer, whose plastered-on smile barely hides a well of deep sadness and disappointment. The whole scene is so outrageously cruel that it comes very close to just being mean, but she makes it work, providing a pointed commentary on how commercials aimed at sports fans tend to treat women. The Super Bowl is a man’s game and it’s up to the woman to feed her “hungry guys” with delicious/terrible pizza rolls! It’s funny because this is the exact kind of nonsense that millions of viewers are going to have shoved down their throats during the actual game.