There’s always one. Each season on The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette) there is one contestant that we can’t stop talking about or watching. It’s not because they are the best match for their respective suitor. No, it’s because they are so ridiculous, so out-of-control and so crazy that we can’t help but love them. This year that person’s name is Lace and she’s as much a mess as she is entertaining.
Yet Lace seems eerily familiar to me and I can’t be alone. While watching Lace on The Bachelor, I was reminded of another TV character. Lace is the spitting image of Cecily Strong’s recurring character on Saturday Night Live, The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party. (If you’re unfamiliar with the character a video is embedded below). If Saturday Night Live (or Lace) were smart, they would get these two ladies behind the same Weekend Update desk at once. It’s more than a bit unlikely though since The Bachelor is on a competing network. Still it doesn’t change the fact that Lace herself is begging for a SNL parody character of her own.
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She’s Constantly Drunk
Saturday Night Live is a big fan of drunk characters whether it is the aforementioned “Girl” or “Your Drunk Uncle”. It’s easy comedy, true, but it’s also effective. I don’t think Lace has a real drinking problem, which wouldn’t be something to laugh at, I think it’s more likely that The Bachelor producers are are plying her with drinks. The reason being that Lace is an entertaining drunk. She is a living example of the stereotypical person that Saturday Night Live loves to parody. She slurs her words, looks confused and sways from side to side. Best of all, Lace’s attempts to hide her buzz. Saturday Night Live would require very little effort in emulating Lace for comedy.
She’s in Her Own World
The best Saturday Night Live characters can create a world with just their personality. They weave a universe into existence and they are at the center of it. Lace is most certainly in her own world and that world is all about Lace. In my memory, Lace is the only Bachelor contestant to be upset after receiving a rose because she felt she she wasn’t given enough eye contact. When you translate that irrational anger into sketch that’s a recipe for some real comedy.
She’s Undeniably Herself
The best thing about Lace, and it’s oddly admirable, is that she is unapologetic about herself. The thing that separates Lace from being an entertaining trainwreck and a depressing mess, is her apathetic attitude. Lace doesn’t (really) care if she comes off crazy or desperate. She’s going to do it anyway. Saturday Night Live characters are confidently one-note, that’s why the joke works. They don’t evolve or change, they stubbornly commit. Lace, no matter all her other faults, commits.
She’s Genuinely Funny
Granted most of the laughs that Lace generates are mocking. More often than not we’re laughing at Lace and not with her. Yet there are times when Lace says things that are actually funny. She usually says them when she is blitzed out of her mind and all her defenses are lowered, but it’s still funny. Take Lace’s angry and expletive laden comment about Becca for example in the first episode of season 20. No one says out loud, “Who wants a [expletive] virgin?” Comedy is nothing less than putting privately held thoughts into unexpected words and action.
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Despite her occasional moments of insight, I hope no one sees too much of themselves within Lace. There is still something recognizable about her. We’ve all dated or been friends with people that are too emotional and too aggressive. We know the type of person that Lace is, we’ve met her before in our lives. There is that same universal nature to Saturday Night Live characters. The humor comes from taking the caricature and relating it to our daily lives. We might have never met someone EXACTLY like the Target Lady, Stefon or Wayne Campell but we know enough people like them. Lace is no different.
But what do you think? Is Lace funny mess or a depressing mess? Do you see the correlation between her and Cecily Strong’s character? Should Lace appear on Saturday Night Live? Could Lace appear on Saturday Night Live? Do you enjoy Lace or is she too much to even watch?
The Bachelor season 20 airs Mondays at 8pm on ABC.
(Images courtesy of ABC, video courtesy of NBC)