SNL mocks Hudson Valley racism, apple farms

Here in the Hudson Valley, we do a fair bit of complaining about tourists- the traffic, the garbage, the condescension. So perhaps we had this coming.

A sketch in the premiere episode of this season’s Saturday Night Live took aim at our region’s most well-known autumnal activity for day-trippers: pick-your-own apples. The format is a television commercial hosted by two sisters (Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon), the owners of “Chickham’s Apple Farm,” which is “located in the part of New York State that has confederate flags” where “for just $45, you can bring home $10 worth of apples.”

Host Woody Harrelson plays a stock backwoods-type character; a “troubled,” dentally-challenged farmhand who “came with the land.” He gets at least one good line: “Our apples are best in a very specific window of time, and whenever you come, you just missed it.” A sad petting zoo and deranged hayride also make an appearance.


The tone is gentler than the last time Upstate New York was skewered on national television in April, when The Simpsons made light of opiate addiction and economic decline. (Although on that second point, SNL couldn’t help posing the question every city visitor has: how the heck do people make a living up here?)

There are 21 comments

  1. Firannion

    We need to own most of this. But someone in the writers’ room should’ve realized that gophers are not a common species in the Northeast. And why does Aidy Bryant’s character have a Southern accent?

  2. Justice Forall

    The locals are being pushed/priced out to make way for NYC weekenders and retirees. Soon, it wont matter that there are no jobs that pay well. It has mostly been who you know around this area anyway.

  3. wowjustwow

    If you don’t want to pay $45 for $10 worth of apples upstate, shop at the Union Square farmers market and pay $60.

  4. Patricia

    I live in the Hudson Valley and I can honestly say that this skit is highly inaccurate. On the whole, the HV is far stranger than this!

  5. SG

    Unfortunately, this is spot on. Aside from the Confederate Flag that waved happily and obnoxiously from an apartment building on Main Street in Stone Ridge all summer…

    Or the redneck that wanted to charge me twice the price for a christmas tree because I was driving “Well, that’s a real nice car!” (The simple-minded deplorable couldn’t recall that I live one-half mile down the road from him, wave frienldy-like at him at least once per week on my walk, and had purchased my tree from him every single year for the past 15-years, but just assumed I was some ‘city’ person he could skewer by jacking up prices while the same tree sold for $35 less to the dude in the pick-up truck just before me…)…

    Or the ragining insecurity of ‘locals’ who are to be quite honest – just obnoxious elitist ‘simple’ country folk who view themselves as know it alls – you aren’t, trust me.

    I moved here 16-years ago – from the city.
    I grew up in an area much more rural than this area – the people were much nicer.
    Ulster County and Dutchess County are both urbanized, suburban countines in the NYC Metro Area.
    We benefit with more than 50% of our annual GDP coming directly from those ‘horrible city folk’.
    Those horrible city folk who own property here pay for your schools (without burdening the system with
    children in those schools); pay for your roads, your jobs, your taxes, your parks, your police, your fire, list way too long to ever type here.
    We aren’t the wild west. We aren’t self-proclaimed pioneers, or frontier folk…we live in an localized area with
    a population larger than most US cities.

    So – drop it, stop it, move on.
    This game of ‘evil city people’ is boring, it’s lame, it’s just the inferiority that some here relish in for some twisted reason. Not sure why.

    I move here because I love it here.
    It reminds me of home, so I chose to make it my home.
    Same rights and priviledges as you.
    So it is a sad thing I witness daily when some ‘old time local’ chooses to Sh$t on a tourist or visitor while
    happily taking their $$$.

    You don’t get to do that.
    The Christmas tree guy I mentioned? I told him I knew he was price gouging me for $30+ dollars over the cost
    of tree, I reminded him ‘this fancy city guy’ actually lives three houses down the road. I let him know I’d never
    buy from him again, and that I’d let all the people I know who did what he does. I can count at least 15 customers he lost soon after.

    Word spreads.
    That grin you give when you take people’s $ can bite you hard when you act like a jerk.
    See that condescension you think you’re experiencing is actually coming from YOU. The attitude you put out
    is what you get back — immediately.
    City folk might not have growed up in the corn field…but they ain’t stupid either…and know when YOU are being obnoxious or rude or superior…will give it right back to you.
    Honesty hurts sometimes, doesn’t it?
    Next time, just try being sincere, open, and nice, you’ll see that ‘city attitude’ vanish, poof.

    1. Suzy Q

      My goodness, SG, it sounds like you really don’t like living in this awful place. Perhaps, and this is a stretch, your observations are what makes it so difficult for some of the local people to endure. I hear Connecticut is lovely.

    2. J. Appleseed

      50% of our revenue is from the city? Maybe, you should recheck your statistics. In the 1950’s and 60’s, maybe close to that number, in the “Catskills” tourism trades. Today, lucky if ten percent of local yearly profits are from “city” patrons, at our upstate businesses, but in fact, are mostly generated by local receipt’s. Also, it does sound like, YOU, are the one who has the preconceived notions of “us” country folks, as your piece seems too state, that you love it up here, but hate “us hick’s”. It also seems like that Christmas tree moment, has remained a burr in your saddle, it might be healthier too release it. That is the difference between, us and you city replants, we live, breath, and thrive here in the country life, it is and means more too us than just a nice place too live, it is our way of life, and in general we let little things, not unlike your, nasty response too the local tree salesman just flow off of our backs, like the water in our beautiful country waterways. Would it not have been better rationally explaining and negotiating with him, in a kind, friendly, ” country” way. And, not attacking, labeling, and acting all self righteous with your ingrained, city-like come uppence. Please look in the mirror, and “take a hike” back too your city, believe me we will not miss you at all, just like the Christmas tree salesman did not miss you, or your business, at all. Don’t let the door hit you…

  6. Stanley Hess

    SG. If you’re gonna rage against the halfwits you share a zip code with perhaps you should spell check your comments first. Not a great look.

  7. nicole costa

    Hmm, not all that funny, but some truth.
    There is price gouging but also higher rent and not much living wage, kind of a trade off. The terrain can be difficult especially in winter. There is quite a lot of poverty, more than half of us, on some form of public assistance in Ulster. The dental is generally something found on Halloween, for the poor. The gynecological care also scary. Not a joke. The apples are actually quite good and the corn is notable, if you like that sort.
    The racism can only be topped by the misogyny. Ladies, never go on the rail trail without knowing where you are and having a cellphone handy. Also city people, do yourselves a favor and learn what poison ivy looks like, and use tick repellent if you’re going to be out there. Other then those few issues, the place is beautiful. It’s also a rare habitat and hosts one of the earths very important forests. If you stay long enough, you will probably see creatures that you never could have imagined really exist. It really is quite interesting.

  8. valarie elkind

    Oh my, I’m glad we moved up here prior to reading all this. LOL. We LOVE it here in Bearsville and have found most people to be wonderful. Given the choice of up here or Prospect Park West in Park slope Brooklyn, except for that the apple farms come down to the open markets on the weekend and sell the cream of the crop when it comes to the fruit, there is no place else I’d rather be.


      YOu are so right, Roman Jones! Hard to tell anymore, though, who is being sarcastic, who is being honest and who is just playing right along with the absurdity of the whole thing. SNL is a COMEDY show- COMEDY. Let’s not lose our ability to laugh.

  9. SG can suck my deplorable

    SG – Wow, why so bitter? Your post was way tl:dr.

    But I saw enough to know that your misery comes from inside you. Maybe the “simple minded deplorable” recognized that your “friendly wave” was a lie. As for being suburban, we are, of course, suburban. Bc you people are overrunning us with your shitty driving and shitty attitudes and smugness to last long after you’re dead and gone.

    But 50% of our income comes from you? Foh, you old cow.

    That’s where I stopped reading.

  10. SG can suck my hick

    Oh and lastly, douchebag: maybe the tree salesman didn’t want to sell you a tree. Maybe his trees are limited (some stands close down) and maybe he saves his trees for locals, who have an easier time affording his trees, and figures you, in your fancy car, can head on over to the high priced place for yours. Maybe he just doesn’t like you, in spite of your “friendly wave.” Maybe he has you pegged as a foolish person who needs to drive a “hey nice car there!” to show your worth to the world.

  11. TM

    SG, your message is on point. We moved here in 2002. Husband was a farm boy from Georgia. I grew up in California and spent summers on our grandmother’s vineyard in Napa. We know the local attitude of which you speak. We actually had a neighbor call us fancy folks. We have made friends here and one neighbor, who differs greatly from my politics, rescued me from a rabid racoon that was attacking me on a ladder in our yard. Those same neighbors showed up on my door with dinner, wine and brownies when I returned from cancer surgery. we feel like a tiny dot of blue in a sea of red here but have made friends via persistence. But we do see people hike up the prices here. I bought adjoining land from a farmer who then reneged, then reinstated offer to sell and growled, “If you don’t buy my land, I’ll make you sorry.” Workman have gouged us. We try to patronize all the farms here. Farming is a tough business. I came here because I love the Hudson Valley. I think it’s more beautiful than California where I grew up. But there is racial division. The taxes are sky-high (When I challenged them, I was told, “I know your home. It had all that beautiful land.” I asked was there a beauty surcharge? But I love it here, but know exactly what you are saying.

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