This Saturday, SNL did a pretty good little sketch where they parodied the 70s Game Show “The Match Game.” Except they changed the name of the show to “It’s a Match.” And they changed the names of all the celebrities who appeared on it. So you know Amy Poehler was supposed to be Brett Somers and Fred Armisen was playing Paul Lynde. Except they weren’t. Here’s the sketch:
The sketch works pretty well, but of course my nitpicky mind is wondering - why did they change all the names? I can’t really think of any other cases where SNL has changed the names of real life people to do a parody. I don’t have encyclopedic knowledge of the show, but every impersonation, even obscure ones, are usually done by name. Impersonations are one of the things they look for from new cast members. Changing names is more Mad Magazine territory.
The Match Game is a very old show that you’re parodying for a fairly young audience who are there to see Shia LaBeouf. You might need the slight name recognition to make some of the jokes land, just in case they saw a rerun on the Game Show Network.
My first thought was that maybe it was something legal. But that doesn’t really make much sense. There’s nothing defamatory here. Most of the jokes about characters are ones that the celebs did themselves - that’s part of the point of the Match Game.
So I’m leaning to it being an artistic choice. But I don’t think it really enhances the sketch. Do you? What does changing the names add to the sketch?