Nebraska woman hits back at SNL over perfume joke

Chemistry researcher slams SNL for a Weekend Update joke that smelled funny.

Sorry, “Saturday Night Live” — someone else got the last laugh this time.

Raychelle Burks, a chemistry researcher at the University of Nebraska, published an open letter on Slate (originally posted on the blog Skepchik) on Wednesday skewering NBC for a Weekend Update joke delivered by anchor Colin Jost this past weekend.

“A chemistry grad student in Nebraska is creating a new perfume he calls Eau de Death, which mimics the smell of decaying flesh so people can avoid being eaten by zombies,” Jost said from behind the Update desk. “Meanwhile, his professor is creating a new grade he calls ‘F minus.'”

The problem: Burks isn’t a student. She’s also not a “he” — and neither is the professor.

“You made me into a male graduate student. I am a female postdoctoral research fellow and a member of the teaching faculty at my institution,” Burks wrote in the letter, titled, “Hey, ‘Saturday Night Live’: I’m a black woman. Why did you turn me into a white man?”

“You made my boss–a tenured professor and principle investigator–a man,” Burks continued. “There are lady scientists!”

Oh, and one more thing: “I did not invent a perfume,” she added, referring to her discussion of “Death Cologne” in an American Chemical Association podcast as “a thought experiment.”

But never fear, “SNL”: Burks has some helpful guidelines for the future: “If I’m ever sorta the punchline of a joke, could you just use my true identity? Unless the joke involves hookers and blow. For those jokes, please use my male grad student cover.”

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