Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik has dealt with public scrutiny over her looks since her breakthrough role as young Tess in the cult classic Beaches. Of course, Bialik has seemingly learned how to roll the punches over time, but one moment has stood out for her over the last few decades. During her Blossom years, she became the subject of an unflattering Saturday Night Live sketch. Years after the parody debuted, she wrote about dealing with trauma associated with the portrayal. While responding the former SNL actress who starred in the skit said she would’ve been "fired" if she didn’t wear a fake nose.
What Mayim Bialik Said About The Saturday Night Live Sketch
The Big Bang Theory alum went into full detail about past critiques when penning an essay for Variety. She revealed that upon seeing the premiere episode of Blossom (which might get a Bel-Air-like reboot), a TV critic slammed her physical features. She was comforted and shielded by her parents after that. However, another critique came from her favorite magazine, MAD, which parodied her and the NBC sitcom. That particular jab apparently led her to cry for a moment before she took a photo with the magazine. Then came the SNL parody. At first, the actress viewed the sketch as her arrival in the pop culture zeitgeist, as she explained:
And then a short time later, it was 'Saturday Night Live’s' turn. In the ‘90s, you had really 'made it' if 'SNL' parodied your show. It meant you were a significant enough part of culture to merit that kind of mockery, and as an 'SNL' fan for my entire life, I was so excited. And then I watched it.
As Mayim Bialik laid out, being parodied on Saturday Night Live was (and continues to be) a sign of pop culture significance for any star, show, or movie. Some stars embrace satire-related scrutiny, while others can have more unfortunate reactions to it. Bialik was in the former camp until she saw the sketch for herself and noticed a certain feature of hers was accentuated. The TV personality recalled her initial response to the skit, saying:
The actress portraying me was dancing and mugging for the camera and she was hilarious. But. She wore a prosthetic nose. In order to truly convey that she was 'Blossom,' she wore a fake, big nose. I don’t know if it was significantly larger than my real nose and I don’t care to remember. I remember that it struck me as odd. And it confused me. No one else on the show was parodied for their features. In MAD magazine, everyone is caricatured, but in this rendition of parody, it was just me that was singled out. More specifically, it was my nose.
Mayim Bialik was less than flattered, to say the least. Why the show’s producers and writers chose to highlight her nose is a mystery. To be honest, the '90s were filled with questionable moments in TV sketch comedy, with some skits indeed playing on certain actors’ looks.
Not only did the then-teen star have to deal with industry pressure, but she also had to contend with her high school peers. The TV actress said her friends “watched SNL,” and she was ultimately “ashamed” over the situation. Despite being decades removed from the skit, it clearly still stings the TV veteran today.
What The SNL Actress Said About Wearing The Fake Nose
Mayim Bialik wasn’t the only one who was offended by the portrayal at the time. SNL alum Melanie Hutsell, who portrayed Bialik's character in the parody, voiced her regret over the 1994 sketch to EW over the 1994. Hutsell expressed her initial reservations when the sketch was pitched to her, saying:
When we were preparing to do that sketch all those years ago, I was absolutely horrified that they wanted me to wear a prosthetic nose to play Mayim Bialik's character, Blossom. I knew it was wrong.
So it seems the comedian was apprehensive about the prosthetic nose from the beginning. The TV and film veteran also recalled expressing her concerns over the nose to fellow castmates. But apparently, that nearly led to her being ousted from the late-night institution:
I remember so clearly that when I expressed that I did not want to wear the prosthetic nose for the sketch, I was told if I refused, I would be fired. And keep in mind, many of the people who had a hand in creating the sketch were Jewish. Although I had and have always had a strong moral compass, I didn't have the strength to refuse to do the sketch after I was told I would be fired. If I could go back and change history, I would have refused to wear the prosthetic nose and taken the risk of losing my job. That would have been the right thing to do.
More on Mayim Bialik
Melanie Hutsell definitely appears to be remorseful, and this isn't the first time she's expressed regret over the sketch. She revealed on the Fly on the Wall podcast that she was sorry for how the sketch played out and said she even apologized to Mayim Bialik during a casual run-in. Both actresses apparently came to a mutual understanding. Hutsell even called the veteran sitcom actress “one of the smartest and most incredible people on the planet – beautiful inside and out.”
In the years since the sketch aired, Mayim Bialik and Melanie Hutsell took breaks from Hollywood. The former did so to have a normal life before returning to TV. Bialik is currently away from Jeopardy! amid the actors’ strike months after the cancellation of her sitcom, Call Me Kat. Hutsell, meanwhile, has appeared in notable TV series, with the most recent being the critically acclaimed Hulu miniseries Tiny Beautiful Things. Check out our 2023 TV schedule to for premiere info on other small-screen offerings.