Saturday Night Live/YouTube

‘SNL’ struck a nerve with this ISIS recruitment ad sketch

The parody of a Super Bowl ad has people divided.


Michelle Jaworski


Published Mar 2, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 10:12 am CDT

As amazing as it sounds, Fifty Shades of Grey wasn’t the most controversial part of Dakota Johnson‘s stint hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend.

Featured Video Hide

No, the most polarizing sketch in the show was a disturbing spoof of Toyota’s “My Bold DadSuper Bowl ad.

Advertisement Hide

In the sketch, Taran Killam plays an emotional dad dropping his daughter (Johnson) off at the airport, where she’s set to head off on a life-changing journey. But Johnson isn’t going to school abroad or joining the Army. She’s joining a group of a much different caliber.

The fake ad’s tagline: “ISIS. We’ll take it from here, Dad.”

Has SNL gone too far with a sketch lampooning ISIS? Some viewers thought so.

Advertisement Hide

To these and other viewers, SNL was making light of a terrorist organization that has killed prisoners, convinced young girls to run away to become brides, and led people to risk everything (and break the law) by trying to join them. ISIS is now even threatening Twitter founder Jack Dorsey for suspending ISIS-related Twitter accounts.

Advertisement Hide

On the other hand, SNL (like Japan) was openly mocking ISIS and in turn undermining the group’s message. It’s probably one of the more scathing sketches SNL has done in recent memory, and some people simply found it to be hilarious.

Advertisement Hide

SNL isn’t apologizing for the sketch; it’s still on YouTube, where it has been viewed more than 560,000 times. Based on the like-to-dislike ratio, the satire defense seems to be winning the debate.

Screengrab via Saturday Night Live/YouTube

Each week, our politics editors curate the most important news from the Daily Dot and around the web. Sign up for the DotPolitics newsletter. 

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 2, 2015, 12:02 pm CST