Culture

Benedict Cumberbatch mocks Apple in 'cool toilet' SNL ad

Technically Incorrect: On "Saturday Night Live," Cumberbatch giggles at Apple's "1984" ad and sells a toilet you sit on "the right way."

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Sitting pretty.

SNL/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's only when I'm in Japan that I think toilets have made progress.

In Japanese toilets, I encounter all sorts of electronic buttons that do many helpful, inventive things.

Now, however, there's something new.

Here's Benedict Cumberbatch presenting a new, cool toilet by way of snorting at Apple's legendary "1984" ad.

Yes, he did it on "Saturday Night Live." But take one look and tell yourself that this product is magical and revolutionary (Or perhaps not, as the "Saturday Night Live" YouTube channel appears to have made the video private since we first published. We'll leave the embed here just in case it comes back).

We begin by watching conformists on the march, just as in the famous ad. We then see them seated, all in the conventional way, with the cistern behind them.

Big Toilet Brother on the large screen insists that this design is there to make you look "stupid and foolish." It must always be this way, he says.

Then Cumberbatch, the hero with a hammer, arrives. He uses the hammer to unbox a new, cool toilet -- or, more accurately, the Koohl Toilet by Kohler.

He drops his pants and sits on it, facing forward.

What a look. Suddenly, you feel imperious instead of embarrassed. Suddenly you are master of your domain, rather than a tragic commuter on the 8:15 to Bodily Function.

Big Toilet Brother can't cope. He explodes, as he sees Cumberbatch in this remarkably confident toilet-sitting position.

That's what the great products ultimately do: they make you feel more confident in dealing with the task at hand.

After all, one touching English euphemism for being on the toilet, is to say you're "on the throne." I wonder if the queen says that.

Updated Nov. 7, 1:50 p.m. PT: Updated to reflect that the video has since been made private on the "Saturday Night Live" YouTube channel. The embed is being left in the article just in case it comes back online.