“Sidney Applebaum” on SNL is funny for many reasons. First, there is the inside joke between John Mulaney and Bill Hader. But as an audience, you’ll hardly notice it because you may not be familiar with the back story. However, the joke in “Sidney Applebaum” on SNL is portrayed in various ways.
Irony of the Name
The irony is used extensively in SNL. In fact, as the audience, you’ll find yourself set up by the Dracula comment. So you’ll be expecting the Jewish Dracula to possibly have a name that sounds sophisticated and impossible to pronounce. However, the name turns out to be an unmistakable, lame, and ordinary sounding one: “Sidney Applebaum.” Further, the Jewish are often stereotyped as overly conservative and sensible. This helps in making the joke even funnier.
In addition to the name, the crowd is thrilled when Bill Hader breaks all character and breaks into uncontrollable laughter. In the show, Hader is portrayed as a character that is fairly easy to break. That notwithstanding, Mulaney and Hader come out as comedic geniuses who had great run Stefon, another character in the show.
Interestingly, Bill Hader only knows part of the show’s script for the character Stefon. The rest of it is a surprise, as you can see from his frequent chuckle breaks. As a comedian, this would undoubtedly have brought him out as hilarious. As the audience, you’d probably think they’re just laughing either because they know they’re supposed to or they know the movie line.
The French General, “Sidney Applebaum”
The joke in “Sidney Applebaum” on SNL is based on a line from “Love and Death”, an old Woody Allen comedy. The Jewish name Dracula makes the audience break into laughter, not because it’s a funny joke, but because it’s from a favorite joke in Woody Allen’s movie titled Love and Death. In the comedy, a French general talks about how the world will remember his name, Sidney Applebaum when he emerges victorious. It’s one of those great non-sequiturs characteristic of Allen’s movies, and which make them great. The incongruity between the lameness of the name “Sidney Applebaum” and a person that history will remember is what causes the humor in the show.
Bill Hader did an incredible job in Saturday Night Live show’s Halloween episode. It’s more of an inside joke between John Mulaney and Hader. Apparently, it’s all got to do with the Jewish Dracula, and people’s perception of the Jewish as conservative and practical. The hysterical role in Dracula is played by Hader, a hilarious actor, producer, voice actor, writer, and comedian. His stardom began with SNL where viewers have enjoyed watching him and his character, Stefon.
The Bottom Line
A lot of people that love SNL think that it’s hilarious, particularly since they’re already familiar with the backstory behind all the characters being played. Sidney Applebaum is particularly viewed as funny because his name is very common. The audience would have expected his name to be difficult to pronounce owing to his Jewish descent. This alone is a joke. Moreover, Bill Hader playing the character adds another amusing to the way the character is portrayed. The character breaks into fits of laughter, and the audience finds itself joining in.