The Boys Draws Inspiration from Cecily Strong’s SNL Sketch for Starlight’s Storyline

“We just wanted to normalize it a little bit,” says showrunner Eric Kripke.

Cecily Strong’s Goober the Clown bit on Saturday Night Live’s 47th season continues to speak volumes three years later.

According to The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke, the sketch was a big inspiration for the Starlight/Annie January reveal on season 4’s “Wisdom of the Ages.” In the episode, which dropped on Prime Video this week, Firecracker (Valorie Curry) makes another below-the-belt attempt to smear Annie’s name. With the backing of Vought, she sets up an hours-long livestream event that culminated with revealing Annie’s medical records and outing her abortion publicly.

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After severely beating the you-know-what out of Firecracker for pulling such a cheap and invasive stunt, Annie has a conversation with Hughie (Jack Quaid) about how she agonized over the decision, how they weren’t ready for a kid, and how she now has to relive the moment any time anyone brings it up to her. “It’s no one business but yours,” Hughie tells her.

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade was happening in real time as we were writing, so it was definitely on everybody’s mind,” Kripke tells Entertainment Weekly. “But another inspiration for us was Cecily Strong.”

Strong appeared on “Weekend Update” on SNL  season 47 as Goober the Clown as a way to talk about her own abortion while doing “fun clown stuff” to make the conversation “more palatable.”

“Who’s Cecily? I’m Goober!” she says in the sketch. “I wish I didn’t have to do this because the abortion I had at 23 is my personal clown business, but that’s all some people in this country want to discuss all the time, even though clown abortion was legalized in Clown v. Wade in 1973.”

“It really moved me,” Kripke recalls of watching that sketch. “What I think we were really trying to get across [on The Boys] is how common it is, and yet so few women can talk about it. So we were like, ‘Let’s just throw it out there and deal with it.'”

The writers’ room tried to handle the storyline for Annie as realistically as possible — despite being set in the over-the-top world of supes. “We spoke to a lot of women who had abortions, but the main thing we wanted to get across was it’s not a particularly massive, overdramatic thing. It’s a thing that thousands and thousands and thousands of women go through,” Kripke continues. “We just wanted to normalize it a little bit. If in a big genre show you can talk about it and not have it be the most earth-shattering, apocalyptic moment, but it’s a difficult moment that a woman went through and then continued to live her life, we thought there was value in that perspective, which is a perspective that’s almost never in TV or movies.”

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