Saturday Night Live has become notorious for its political cold opens as of late, but that mold was broken this week when Maya Rudolph returned as host.
Rudolph opened the evening as enthusiastic Miamian Cece Vuvuzela. Vuvuzela presented a satire MTV reality show called “Snatched, Vaxed or Waxed,” wherein male cast members (Chris Redd, Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney) guessed the physique of spring breakers in Florida.
The sketch was filled with jabs at Florida, with Rudolph’s Vuvuzela kicking the show off with “out here in beautiful Miami Beach during a global pandemic. We are so close to the end, let’s ruin it!”
Rudolph returned as herself for the monologue, offering words of hope for the end of the pandemic, saying “it feels like we’re starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.”
As a former castmember, Rudolph told the audience she felt a responsibility to teach the newest castmembers some of the lessons she learned on the show.
After being joined by freshmen castmembers Punkie Johnson, Andrew Dismukes and Lauren Holt, Rudolph reminisced on her “SNL” years, though it strangely resembled the plot of John Hughe’s 1985 film “The Breakfast Club.”
Michael Che and Colin Jost returned with “Weekend Update,” touching on some of the recent events surrounding President Biden.
“President Biden was asked if he plans to run for reelection in 2024, which is probably the nicest way to ask him if he plans on being alive in 3 years,” joked Che.
Jost took aim at Donald Trump’s recent comments that his supporters were hugging and kissing police at the U.S. Capitol riot where 5 people died.
“I’m not surprised Donald Trump can’t tell the difference between kissing and assault,” said Jost.
Bowen Yang joined Che and Jost on “Weekend Update” to speak about the recent rise in hate crimes against Asians and ways in which you can help.
Grappling with the limited time he had to speak about the scope of the issue, Yang admits “I didn’t even want to do this ‘Update’ piece! I wanted to do my character ‘Gay Passover bunny’. But it was too smart for the show.”
Rudolph appeared as her iconic Kamala Harris character, presenting “A Kamala Harris Unity Seder.” In a surprise guest appearance, former castmember Martin Short showed up as Harris’s “Semitic smoke show” husband Doug Emhoff.
Emhoff and Harris welcomed a number of guests from both her side of the aisle and the other, including Aidy Bryant as Texas senator Ted Cruz, Cecily Strong as Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene and more.
Rapper Jack Harlow made his first appearance on “SNL” as the musical guest. Harlow performed a medley of his two hits “Tyler Herro” and “WHATS POPPIN.”
Harlow was then joined by Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine for a performance of their song “Same Guy.”