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SNL Korea’s Doctor Strange parody is hilarious and recalls a classic Conan sketch

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Fake magic as comedy still holds up

Doctor Strange has already received the Saturday Night Live parody treatment once, but South Korea’s own version of the late night comedy show has produced its own take.

The sketch from SNL Korea, which can be seen above, features a cast member pretending to amaze people with his magical abilities. Taking the most arbitrary day-to-day activities, like a crosswalk sign changing and an automatic door opening, the Doctor Strange impersonator pretends to be in control of each action. He’s joined by two other men, whose sole purpose is to stand around him and lose their minds every time he does something “incredible.”

It’s a funny sketch, and blows Saturday Night Live’s Doctor Strange parody out of the water, but it’s not entirely original. On May 2, 1995, Conan O’Brien introduced his famous David Copperfield parody sketch on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The David Copperfield look-a-like would also use his magical abilities to make mundane actions seem positively electrifying.

In the first sketch, Copperfield used his abilities to make a Coke can fall out of a vending machine. In later sketches, the Copperfield impersonator would usher a bus forward, make chips fall out of a vending machine and even open an automatic door.

It’s clear from the SNL Korea sketch that’s where the writing team got their inspiration, but it doesn’t hinder the comedy in any way. Seeing people react strongly to the fake magic being used still holds up more than two decades later.