‘Saturday Night Live’ Cut Shane Gillis’ Best Sketch, A Parody Of Liberty Mutual’s “LiMu Emu & Doug”

Shane Gillis Saturday Night Live

Not that I’m some authority on Saturday Night Live‘s process of creative control, but it’s quite surprising that Shane Gillis’ Liberty Mutual sketch was among those that was cut for time.

You’ll see this happen every now and then. SNL cast members have to make lightning-fast decisions on what will be in the show. It’s the most chaotic schedule in show business. So like, I get where something could fall through the cracks. Seldom do you see the best sketch of an entire show go unaired, though. We’re about 36 hours out from when the LiMu Emu and Doug parody dropped on Twitter, and it’s up to over 4.3 million views, with almost another one million on YouTube.

Gillis is a comedian whose bold material isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Hell, he was fired as an SNL cast member after just four days when certain older jokes of his made the rounds. Whether you love him or hate him — or if you didn’t particularly enjoy his SNL appearance as a whole — you’ll have a hard time denying that this video is downright hilarious. Say what you will about the Donald Trump-themed cold open that many viewers didn’t really dig. Even Gillis’ opening monologue was polarizing at best.

This sketch, though? Absolute gold. Lots of viewers believe it would’ve been the best one of the night had it aired.

I’ve seen so many LiMu Emu and Doug ads pop up on my TV over the years that, to be honest, I can’t really remember any of them off the top of my head. Liberty Mutual’s “Liberty Bibberty” actor guy is more memorable. Good for that company to have two extremely successful marketing shticks. Anyway, I’m confident in saying that Gillis’ team-up with whomever is under that emu costume is far superior to any real-life commercial.

This scene gives me strong Training Day vibes. LiMu Emu is the Denzel Washington/Alonzo Harris type, and Gillis excels as the Ethan Hawke/Jake Hoyt character who’s a little wide-eyed, green and naïve to the ugly realities of the criminal underworld. Also a little bit of Pulp Fiction flavor with the apartment setting.

What unfolds is quite a shocking eruption of violence and pointed language from our seemingly innocent emu, which is really what makes this sketch go. Credit to Gillis for his well-timed reactions to the various absurdities of LiMu.

Turns out that in the end, LiMu had some strong instincts, as he finds a bag of what appears to be cocaine beneath the sofa of the man he gunned down in cold blood. Then he cuts open the bag, and snorts a line! My goodness. And the way they bring it back around to company jargon/slogan talk by the end really puts a button on the sketch and elevates it even more.

If and when Simu Liu hosts SNL again, I propose a LiMu Emu sequel that actually airs. There’s so much comedic potential in that name combination alone. I can’t believe they didn’t think of it when Liu hosted back in November 2021.

Gillis’ emu sketch was easily my favorite from SNL of late. Probably tops since Pedro Pascal’s dystopian Mario Kart trailer.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock