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Austin Butler Sucks at Party Games in White Elephant Sketch

Have you ever gotten mad during a White Elephant gift exchange? Well, you have an ally in host Austin Butler. Saturday Night Live posed an important question: What do you do when someone brings the perfect gift for you, only to have it stolen by your supposed friend? Butler came to the sketch comedy show with a lot of energy and excitement, and it worked with sketches like this when he played a brat of a man who refuses to play by the rules of the White Elephant. And to be honest, I don’t entirely blame him.White Elephant is a game that will either leave you feeling victorious or angry, there really is no in-between.

In the episode’s White Elephant sketch, Shawn the Temp (Butler) is rightfully angry that his ashtray gets stolen, and it’s not hard to see why he’s so mad at everyone; he did do an entire speech about how much he loves it before Ava (Cecily Strong) “yoinked” it from his hands. Butler’s Shawn gets so angry he calls her a “wicked little woman” and basically doesn’t want to play anymore.


Shawn the Temp gets even meaner as the exchange goes on, saying that he doesn’t want Janette’s (Ego Nwodim) candle because her house smells and goes on to say that they’ve all been there and know she needs it. It is also hilarious to watch how much Ava sticks to her guns and keeps the ashtray, despite Shawn’s persistent ill temper. It would have been so much easier to just give it up, but she simply doesn’t.

White Elephant SNL Sketch (1)
Image via NBC

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So when everyone is finally done with Shawn being a child, he decides to open another gift and this time, it was addressed to him. Inside is a jet-black (his favorite color) ashtray catchall in the same design as his first gift. Butler’s Shawn he’s so happy that he forgets how mad he was and no one knows who gave him the gift in the first place. The answer? His father, Santa Claus.

One of the reasons the White Elephant sketch works so well is because we all someone who sucks at party games and simply refuses to abide by the rules. Beyond that, Butler’s enthusiasm for the sketch leads to an easy chemistry with the seasoned SNL cast, making him a great fit.

You can check out the White Elephant sketch below:

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