Regina King Stuns in ‘SNL’ Opening Monologue

Regina King was radiating when she walked out to deliver her SNL monologue on Saturday night. Her lime green shift dress and iridescent pumps matched her sparkling confidence as the first-time host introduced herself to the national audience. King went on to nail a number of silly skits throughout the evening, and over all, delivered a solid comedic showcase.

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The Cold Open

Following Donald Trump’s acquittal on Saturday afternoon, the Saturday Night Live cold open covered the impeachment trial through the format of a Tucker Carlson (played by Alex Moffat) episode, peppered with “scare-mongering non-sequiturs.” After such a dense season of political impersonations, Kate McKinnon as pompous male politicians — this time Lindsey Graham — is nothing new. But Beck Bennett really shined as the double-chinned senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. Seriously, the makeup department did an uncanny job on this one. (Spirited Aidy Bryant as the newly bearded Ted Cruz was also chuckle worthy.)

The Opening Monologue

Regina King is a long-time star. She’s been appearing in supporting roles since the 1990’s, although she found a more mainstream fanbase through the superhero cult hit Watchmen. In 2019, she won an Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk and recently earned a Golden Globe nomination for her directorial debut: One Night in Miami.

But King has been experiencing that A-list recognition in the black community for years: a fact which she lampooned in her opening monologue with some help from hype man Kenan Thompson. Best line? “I remember watching Eddie Murphy on this show when I was a little kid and thinking “Wow. Someday I’m gonna be on that stage. Then he left and I was like ‘Eh, I’m good.’ ”

Top Three Skits

“Gorilla Glue”

You know that TikTok trends have gone too far if this ridiculous SNL sketch is not the first video result when searching “Gorilla Glue in hair.” By now we all know that this is why you DON’T put Gorilla Glue in your hair. As a news story that’s funny enough on its own, this fake ad for a class action lawsuit was the perfect way to poke fun at a frankly dumb internet moment. And while Regina King deadpanning the camera with that insanely sticky ‘do was great, I do hope that by next week social media has moved on from the super glue debacle.

“Birthday Gifts”

The gab-heavy skits that center on female cast members are usually especially hilarious. In this particular suburban mockery, Regina King, Cecily Strong, Heidi Gardner, and Chloe Fineman team up as a group of friends bullying birthday girl Aidy Bryant through a series of increasingly aggressive “Wine Mom” signs. Taking after the tradition of “Live, Laugh, Love” wall decor, these mean placards range from slogans tinged with alcoholism to more direct sayings, like, “I’m sexually promiscuous and my house dirty.” It’s a simple conceit that makes for classic SNL fun.

“The Negotiator”

It’s easy to imagine that Pete Davidson helmed this musically nightmarish negotiation, fueled by weed gummies. When Davidson, dressed as a giant blue gummy bear, choruses: “I’m a weed gummie and you’ll be high forever,” I felt that. The trippy premise also makes room for random additions to the scene, like Melissa Villaseñor as a pitch-perfect gravelly Marge Simpson hallucination.

Weekend Update

The weekend’s most timely news, Donald Trump’s acquittal, dominated the weekend update segment from Colin Jost’s opening line: “Like so many other men living in Florida, Donald Trump has escaped from justice.” The report was followed up with an appropriate quip from Michael Che: “Here’s a little black history for you. Just because there’s video evidence doesn’t mean you’re gonna get a conviction.” Balancing out the heavier news portion was a funny appearance by a Qanon-wannabe witch, played by Kate McKinnon, and Beck Bennett as Super Bowl GOAT Tom Brady.

Drunk Tom Brady

Musical Guest: Nathaniel Rateliff

Next week: Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page hosts with musical guest Bad Bunny

WATCH: ‘SNL’ Returns with Host John Krasinski for its First Post-Trump Show

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