The sketch-comedy show Saturday Night Live has never been afraid to go over the top for some material. The low-budget hijinks can offer hit-and-miss material as well. But a sketch on this past weekend’s show spoofing the Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs “Battle of the Sexes” match from 1973 featuring film star Jason Momoa as fictional tennis player Ronnie Dunster was simply bizarre.
In the bit, Momoa, known as the largest player in the history of tennis, is set up to play fictional women’s player Charna Lee Diamond, played by cast member Sarah Sherman. Diamond is ranked as one of the lowest players on the WTA, the skit notes. Diamond also is a staunch feminist who wanted the match played between her and one of the top-ranked ATP players.
As the match begins, Jason Momoa’s character is set to serve first. He hits the ball and the ball goes through the middle of Diamond. Not down the middle of the court, but through the abdomen of Sherman’s character. And yet, still Diamond continued to play.
Jason Momoa plays an overpowering tennis player on Saturday Night Live
Mond you, the joke of the skit is someone of Jason Momoa’s size – he is 6’4″ and about 225 pounds or more (the weight is hard to find on the interwebs) – while Sarah Sherman’s size – she is 5’7″ and 120 pounds. But if you did not get that part of the joke, one might just think Saturday Night Live is saying a man should overpower a woman in a tennis match. That would be ironic as the whole point of the Battle of the Sexes between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs was to dispel that thought.
Jason Momoa’s Dunster feels horribly for how the first serve went, obviously, and is in disbelief when Diamond is somehow able to continue. Dunster serves again only this time the serve goes high (or whoever wrote the sketch does not know how tennis works) and knocks Diamond’s head off.
The sketch is promising at the beginning and then digresses into violence. Maybe some will find the bit funny, though. Jason Momoa at least does a decent job as Ronnie Dunster.