“SNL” Sketch Honors The Ad Exec Who Turned “That’s Gay” Into A Tagline

"It was a different time."

Well, this is pretty gay.

In a particularly memorable sketch on last night’s Saturday Night Live, host Larry David played a fictional advertising exec receiving Ad Council’s lifetime achievement award for his work on classic campaigns like “I’m Lovin’ It” and “Got Milk?” But they can’t all be winners.


The awards dinner crowd also gets a taste of the ad man’s earlier work, starting with his “Smart Choices” campaign, a series of ’80s PSAs that warned teens about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and more.

However, the tagline of his cheesy anti-smoking PSA takes everybody by surprise: “If someone pressures you to smoke? Just say, ‘No way. That’s gay.’”


“It was a different time,” he quickly tries to explain. “The word ‘gay’ was very common with kids. It just kinda meant ‘bad,’ you know, ‘your hat is gay, your car is gay, school’s gay.’”

Before working with friend Bill Cosby on the Jell-O campaign—yikes!—he also came up with the PSA slogan “Making fun of someone with a disability is retarded.”


Finally, in an anti-drinking PSA that initially seems notable for its depiction of an interracial couple, SNL cast member Mikey Day wakes up hungover in bed next to a sassy gay guy played by Kenan Thompson.

The tagline? “When you drink, your chances of making a good decision are smaller than a midget.” Oof.

Watch the clip below.

Celebrity interviewer. Foodie and Broadway buff in Manhattan. Hates writing bios.