As far as the ’60s Girl Group hierarchy went, The Exciters were probably something like the Five or Dream Street of their era, but they had one song that matched the greats from top-tier groups like The Supremes or the Shirelles. “Tell Him,” a fantastically catchy and head-boppingly frantic song that encouraged its female listeners to perform the titular action regarding their beloved, was a top five hit in 1962, and has since been covered by everyone from Kenny Loggins (“Tell Her”) to Nicole Richie. And now, almost a half-century of its release, it’s become the musical basis for a surprisingly funny SNL sketch.
In it, Vanessa Bayer plays a girl telling her four friends (including Kristen Wiig and guest star Anna Faris) at a malt shop about how she can’t tell if her new guy returns her romantic feelings. The four friends quickly cite The Exciters’ message of full disclosure via musical number, before adapting the lyrics to acknowledge that maybe Bayer should stretch the truth a little bit (“Tell him that you’re open to a three-way / Tell him that you watch porn everyday / Tell him that you’re not grossed out when he says the word ‘panties’”).
It gets funnier as it goes, and it’s a long-overdue resurrection of a song from times when romance was much simpler than it appears in What’s Your Number? Check it out below.