Saturday, December 21, 2013

Could Saturday Night Live Have Saved Pajama Boy's Reputation? Maybe, But It's Too Late Now

Pajama Boy Ethan Krupp
Pajama Boy Ethan Krupp: Cocoa Puff
December 21, 2013 - Do I even need to explain who "Pajama Boy" is? He first appeared in early November, but the world was largely unaware of him until a few days ago. Suddenly, he became one of the hottest Internet memes and a favorite target of ridicule for conservative pundits.

"Pajama Boy"is a derogatory name that conservative pundits pinned on him. The actor's real name is Ethan Krupp, and he will forever be remembered as the dweeb in one-piece plaid pajamas, delicately clutching a cup of hot cocoa, in a piece produced by Organizing For America (OFA) for use by There's a horrible video too (watch it below) in which Krupp portrays the same dweeby dude. His family is weirdly uncomfortable about having a frank discussion about getting health insurance.

Ethan Krupp is a 20-something grad of the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison. An aspiring actor, Krupp's career now seems suddenly aborted by the severe trashing he's gotten over the past few days. It's probably safe to say that Krupp has been forever typecast in our collective memory as a smirking little a-hole who has no idea what real life is about and wants to lecture you about how to live your own.

The decision to let himself become the new face of Obamacare has probably destroyed his acting career. With his world seeming to crumble all around him, there might have been one thing that could have saved young Ethan's tattered reputation: An appearance on Saturday Night Live on the night of December 21. Any later date beyond that will be too late to resurrect him. Nothing else can undo what Krupp has done to himself, which is to retreat from public scrutiny, go silent and hide in the shadows.

An appearance on SNL is not as far-fetched as you might think. Krupp is a student at The Second City improv theater group, which in turn is well connected to Saturday Night Live. Krupp was a student at The Second City in Chicago when the video was made. The mother in the video is portrayed by Kimmie Companik-Warner, an associate faculty member of The Second City Training Center. One wonders if anybody at The Second City tried to arrange for SNL to invite Krupp onto the show.

Imagine a sketch that spoofs the "Get ready to have the talk" video. Envision a skit in which a frustrated Pajama Boy sits at his computer going crazy because the Obamacare website won't let him sign up. Imagine a skit that features the wussy Krupp as a tough guy super hero, tongue-in-cheek of course.

The result might have allowed a nearly instant rehabilitation of Ethan Krupp. He would have shed the "Pajama Boy" stink and stuck it to all those mean conservative bully bloggers. He would have turned it around.

But Ethan Krupp is one of those guys who runs for cover the moment any criticism comes his way. He was an editor of the Madison Misnomer, a  "humor" rag that had no problem with ripping other people apart. Now it's Krupp being publicly ridiculed, and he can't take the heat. Rather than ride his sudden notoriety and play it for laughs and do some self-promotion, the spineless fool has the last several days scrubbing the Internet of any traces of himself that he can access. He deleted or locked his accounts at YouTube, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more after he was outed as Pajama Boy. How could he think that would preserve his image, and that the world would not notice that all of his online presence suddenly disappeared?

Think of it another way. Suppose some actor makes a debut in a major film, and his looks and performance are widely ridiculed in the media. In reaction, that actor deletes all of his social media accounts and refuses to answer the phone. He just... disappears. What would you think of that actor? Well, that's what Krupp did.

In light of his cowardice, it is not reasonable to expect that Ethan Krupp would have accepted an invitation to mock himself on Saturday Night Live. The folks at SNL are risk takers, after all, but they know a chicken-shit loser when they see one and are not willing to take that kind of risk. The last thing they want is a sniveling amateur like Krupp to freeze up on stage or do something to mess up the show, which is broadcast live.

Sure, he might have appeared on SNL if they had asked him. Sure, someone there might have talked him back to his senses - what few senses he had. Only a self-absorbed fool with no sense would not have foreseen the reaction to the Obamacare ad and video. For an aspiring improv actor, Krupp seems oddly out of touch with who he is and how guys like him are perceived. He's learning that now, the hard way.

"Well, if Krupp can’t achieve fame," wrote Jim Treacher at Daily Caller, "infamy is the next best thing." Sure, but Krupp has achieved world-class dork infamy, and that's never good.

Post Script: Check out "SNL Script: Pajama Boy Meets Duck Dynasty," a speculative script for a Saturday Night Live skit posted at Free Republic.