How Cecily Strong’s ‘SNL’ Clown Sketch Inspired a Major Storyline in ‘The Boys’

How Cecily Strong’s ‘SNL’ Clown Sketch Inspired a Major Storyline in ‘The Boys’

Inspiration sometimes comes from the most unlikely places, as was the case for the most recent, emotionally charged episode of The boys.

During an interview with Weekly Entertainment, The boys Showrunner Eric Kripke explained how a big reveal in this week’s episode surrounding Starlight (Erin Moriarty), or Annie January, was influenced by two factors.

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade was happening in real time as we wrote, so it was definitely on everyone’s mind,” Kripke told the outlet. “But another inspiration for us was Cecily Strong.”

Kripke was referring to a Saturday Night Live Sketch during season 47 in which Strong, 40, played the role of Goober the Clown, using “funny tricks” to make discussion of the “difficult topic” of the character’s abortion at age 23 “more palatable » for the public.

“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 talk about all the time, even though clown abortion was legalized in Clown v. Wade in 1973,” Strong said in character.

Jack Quaid and Erin Moriarty in season 4 of “The Boys”.

Jan Thijs/Prime Video

Kripke said the sketch “really moved” him. In this week’s episode The boys, Firecracker (Valorie Curry) revealed that Starlight had an abortion six months prior, even going so far as to show Starlight’s confidential medical records regarding the procedure. A triggered and furious Starlight beat Firecracker to a pulp on camera in front of viewers.

After the event, Starlight reunited with Hughie (Jack Quaid) and argued that she shouldn’t have “lost her mind” like she did.

“How can you not loose it? It was the most private thing between you and me, and f—— putting it out there like that is a f—— violation,” Hughie said.

Starlight – who was “agonizing” about having an abortion – explained that in the future, she will be judged for her decision now that it is publicly known.

“Now when people look at me, whether they support me, whether they judge me or whether they are angry, I have to relive that over and over again,” she said.

Kripke, for his part, said the show’s writers were looking to make the painful storyline worthwhile.

Erin Moriarty in season 4 of “The Boys”.

Jan Thijs/Prime Video

“What I think we were really trying to get across (about The boys) that’s how common it (abortion) is, and yet so few women can talk about it,” he continued. “So we said, ‘Let’s leave it there and sort it out.’ »

To approach the subject in a realistic and thoughtful way, the show’s writers spoke to many women about their experiences.

“The main thing we wanted to get across is that this is not a particularly massive, overly dramatic thing,” he added. “It’s something that thousands and thousands of women experience. We just wanted to normalize things a little.

“If in a big genre series you can talk about it without it being the most overwhelming, apocalyptic moment, but it’s a difficult moment that a woman went through and then went on to live her life, we thought there was value in that perspective, which is a perspective that’s almost never present in television or film.”

Never miss a story: Sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up to date with the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The boys airs Thursdays on Prime Video.