Brendan Gleeson Reads Marilyn Monroe's Worrisome Fan Mail In Saturday Night Live's Blonde Parody

With the uber-controversial "Blonde" making waves on Netflix, it was only a matter of time before "Saturday Night Live" writers picked up the film for sketch comedy inspiration and ran with it. An adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' novel of the same name, "Blonde" is a fictionalized take on Marilyn Monroe's life. While Oates took substantial liberties while writing the novel, director Andrew Dominik went even further. But there are layers of absurdity hidden within the more seriously dramatic "Blonde" scenes that "SNL" writers were keen to play with.

There is a scene in "Blonde" that features one of the more 'huh' blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments of what-the-heckery. While getting ready for a movie premiere, Marilyn Monroe's team is reading fan mail to her. Read by two mature older women, the fan mail starts off promising. Monroe is complimented, with words like "sweetheart" dropped in. But then the next letter is opened, and the contents are less savory. In fact, they are downright rude.

Barely holding it together, Monroe quips how the fans are much like film critics (ouch) before she is handed a letter deemed confidential by one of her handlers. In it, she discovers her father has reached out to her, and she loses all composure. A short scene, there's a subtle ridiculousness to it as it goes onward. Needless to say, the "SNL" crew put their own spin on it during their show on October 8, 2022.

'Not a fan'

In a scene parodying "Blonde," we see Chloe Fineman's Marilyn Monroe needing a boost of confidence before going out and meeting the crowd. Two people (host Brendan Gleeson and Heidi Gardner) come in at her handler's request to read some fan mail. Supposedly vetted, much like the scene in the film, it starts off promising. Gleeson's character is clearly reading the nicer stuff. However, Gardner's character is there to undercut all progress with the ruder fan mail, punctuated with the ending phrase "not a fan."

Read with straight faces, the joke here is that none of the mail was actually vetted. That, or the comments read by the two employees don't resonate enough for them to see the harm. As the skit goes on, Fineman's Marilyn starts making suggestions as she becomes more exasperated by the fan mail, and a back and forth ensues between the three characters about what to toss out and what to keep. It's in this back and forth that we see the natural humor in the situation, with all cast members milking their lines (but not overly so) to get maximum laughs. 

A sketch like this could have easily gone south (though, it seems that energy was dedicated to the Try Guys sketch instead). The sketch maintains the right balance of comedy without it being steamrolled to death. Not bad, "SNL". Not bad at all.

"Saturday Night Live" airs Saturdays at 11:30pm ET on NBC, and is also available on Peacock.