Benedict Cumberbatch Evokes ‘The Power of the Dog’ in ‘SNL’ Ice Cream Focus Group Sketch

Benedict Cumberbatch, who can currently be seen in 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,' was this weekend's 'Saturday Night Live' host.

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Amid his Saturday Night Live hosting duties this weekend, Benedict Cumberbatch appeared in an ice cream-focused sketch fans have since interpreted as having evoked Jane Campion’s Oscar-winning drama The Power of the Dog.

In the sketch in question, a focus group is assembled to give new incarnations of Blue Bunny ice cream a whirl, with Cumberbatch playing a prone-to-verbosity cowboy of sorts who happens to be quite the fan of visceral dining experiences.

“No offense, but I signed up to try ice cream, not to hear jokes about it. Can we get to tastin’?” Cumberbatch’s character says at one point. 

As Cumberbatch and Heidi Gardner’s characters continue ramping up their memories-laden descriptions of ice cream flavors, Kenan Thompson’s character chimes in with an understandable concern.

“Hey, I just taste ice cream. Am I doing this wrong?” he asks.

And that’s about all that should be written about a six-minute sketch best enjoyed by watching it instead of reading a sucks-the-life-out-of-it summary.

See the full sketch above. Of course, an arguably more nuanced and accurate read of the “Blue Bunny” sketch is that it was potentially written and performed to mock Sam Elliott for his recent homophobic comments about Campion’s aforementioned The Power of the Dog, which starred Cumberbatch as rancher Phil Burbank.

As previously reported, Elliott called Campion’s film a “piece of shit” and lamented “allusions of homosexuality” in an interview on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. Following blowback, Elliott issued an apology.

“I wasn’t very articulate about it. I didn’t articulate it very well,” Elliott said last month during an appearance at Deadline’s Contenders TV event.. “And I said some things that hurt people and I feel terrible about that.”

Cumberbatch, meanwhile, recently spoke with Complex about all things Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Revisit the interview in full here.

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