Should we consider that a whiff?
On the same night that WWE’s Zelina Vega was announced to be joining Street Fighter 6 as an in-game commentator, Capcom had another cross-promotion gig lined up, but that one arguably didn’t hit quite as hard.
Saturday Night Live ran their own skit on their latest episode dedicated to Street Fighter 6, which seems to have mostly whiffed on what makes fighting games funny.
The skit in question features guest host Michael B. Jordan and Bowen Yang performing voice overs for Ken and Ryu respectively in SF6, so naturally, they’re asked to record a bunch of grunts and hitting noises.
Jordan plays it serious while Yang’s character gives a bunch of light-hearted woos and yays that the director obviously tries to put a stop to because ‘nobody sounds like that when they fight.’
And that about sums up the main gag of the whole thing. Just repeat it a few more times with animal noises, etc. and throw in a joke about acting more “hetero.”
They even pronounce Ryu’s name as the typical fashion of “Rai-yu” like you’d hear back in the arcade days, which might be the funniest part of the skit.
It’s not the worst thing in the world, but the SNL skit just feels like you could replace Street Fighter with any other video game where characters are taking hits.
An easy improvement to make would have been to have the actors reactively trying to voice over real clips of the game instead of just putting a couple of stills behind them (like they did for few seconds at the end), and maybe have Yang throw out a “Yatta!” or perform some Street Fighter poses.
There’s also a bit of wasted potential here too because Michael B. Jordan is actually a fighting game fan with him once stating that he wants to see Marvel vs. Capcom 2 come back.
While we have been fairly negative on a Street Fighter SNL skit of all things, it is important to recognize the fighting game community wasn’t the target demographic here though getting at least a few nods would have been nice.
With the WWE and Saturday Night Live now under Capcom’s belt, perhaps they’ll be splurging on a Super Bowl slot here in a few weeks.