"The gay shall stay": "SNL" mocks Ron DeSantis' failed attempt to take Disney's Florida kingdom

When Bowen Yang breaks out the costumes, you know it's going to be good

By Hanh Nguyen

Senior Editor

Published April 9, 2023 2:32PM (EDT)

Michael Che and Bowen Yang as Jafar on "Saturday Night Live" (Will Heath/NBC)
Michael Che and Bowen Yang as Jafar on "Saturday Night Live" (Will Heath/NBC)

Don't mess with the Mouse; you'll get the, uh, incisors. 

Ron DeSantis had tried to be the new sheriff in the Magic Kingdom, but was thwarted by Disney, which still controls the land around its Orlando-area theme parks. Naturally, "Saturday Night Live" could not allow this to slide without comment, or at least Bowen Yang couldn't. 

The comedian has become a hilarious and refreshingly theatrical presence whenever he deigns to visit the "Weekend Update" desk, and when he breaks out the costumes, you know it's going to be good. (Never forget his Titanic iceberg headgear). 

On Saturday's episode, Yang takes it upon himself to speak for Disney through one of its villains. Dressed as the Royal Vizier version of Jafar from "Aladdin," Yang – draped in black and robes with a giant headdress and snake-headed scepter – chomps the scenery with relish, rolling his R's and practically singing with diabolical laughter.

The fashionable Jafar isn't terribly impressed with DeSantis' attire, noting, "As villains go, the boy's an amateur. He has no riz, no spark . . . no drip. The look is giving Baby Mayor."

However, Jafar acknowledges that DeSantis' actions count as villainous. "The boy is plenty evil," he says. "I mean, banning Rosa Parks in schools? I'm a dark sorcerer and even I was like, Jesus dude, it's Rosa Parks!"

He also mocks DeSantis' "Don't Say Gay" bill, pointing out that Disney is all about queerness, from the middle-aged men who visit the theme park to various other Disney villains, including Jafar himself.

"Did my John Waters 'stache not tip you off?" he challenges "Weekend Update" anchor Michael Che. "Of course I'm gay, you petulant fool! My waist is snatched, my eyeliner on point, my final form is a yoked genie with gorgeous nails and a high micro-pony."

The defiance is palpable as Jafar concludes, "So, I'm sorry Mr. DeSantay. The gay shall stay, and you sashay away."

Check out the full bit below:

By Hanh Nguyen

Hanh Nguyen is the Senior Editor of Culture, which covers TV, movies, books, music, podcasts, art, and more. Her work has also appeared in IndieWire, TVGuide.com and The Hollywood Reporter. She co-hosts the "Good Pop Culture Club" podcast, which examines the good pop that gets us through our days, from an Asian American perspective.

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Aladdin Bowen Yang Clip Disney Florida Ron Desantis Saturday Night Live Snl