Saturday Night Live with Maya Rudolph: What to watch for

Maya Rudolph (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Maya Rudolph (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) /

Saturday Night Live is back on air from its three-week winter hiatus with host and SNL alum Maya Rudolph and musical guest Jack Harlow.

Viewers have been able to see a wide range of hosts from stand-up comedian Bill Burr to the star of Netflix’s Bridgerton Rege Jean-Page. In this upcoming episode, Rudolph will appear as a familiar face and the fourth SNL alum to host during the 46th season as she follows fellow comedians Chris Rock, John Mulaney, and Kristen Wiig. Rudolph taking on hosting responsibilities is not a foreign concept as she is no stranger to the show’s hectic behind-the-scenes environment.

Rudolph came onto the show as a featured player in 2000. She left in 2007 as a repertory player. Since then, she has returned to the show in multiple cameo appearances and hosted once before in Feb. 2012.

Though this will only be her second time hosting, she has achieved notoriety and has been praised for her portrayal of Vice President Kamala Harris. Even though there hasn’t been much news surrounding the VP,  I wouldn’t count out an unexpected Kamala Harris appearance at least once in tonight’s episode.

Host Maya Rudolph’s vast experience will shine through on tonight’s Saturday Night Live

Many will agree that Rudolph is a textbook comedic powerhouse. She is known for her wide range of impressions of famous figures such as fashion designer Donatella Versace, singer-songwriter Beyonce Knowles, and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Even since leaving the sketch comedy show, she has been very busy.

You may recognize Rudolph from her on-camera appearances in movies such as Grown Ups, Bridesmaids, and Wine Country as well as her voice in multiple animated movies such as The Angry Birds Movie, The Emoji Movie, and Big Hero 6. Viewers might also recognize her from her highly ambitious yet short-lived variety show Maya & Marty, in which Rudolph and fellow SNL alum Martin Short hosted a variety show filled with musical performances, sketches, and high-profile guests.

Currently, Rudolph is a series regular on FOX’s Bless the Harts and will be lending her voice to two upcoming animated features: Luca and The Mitchells vs. the Machines. She is also set to headline an untitled AppleTV+ half-hour comedy series. With all of this previous work behind her and what she has lined up for the future, Rudolph definitely has the stamina to withstand anything the writers throw her way as a seasoned sketch comedy professional.

Another strength to highlight is that Rudolph is stepping in as a host that’s been close to the current cast for over two years through her appearances. This means she hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to be a part of an ensemble. I’m excited to see what kind of roles she will be put in that will support the other cast members.

In the promo video below, Rudolph seems to take offense to the fact that Chris Redd declared that it was his birthday. Rudolph decides that, because she’s hosting the episode, she can also declare that it’s her birthday in order to overshadow Redd. In the second part of the promo, Redd asks Rudolph if she’s ready for spring which sparks Rudolph to proclaim a short monologue about her appreciation for the season.

Jack Harlow makes his Saturday Night Live debut

In a tweet following the announcement of Jack Harlow’s musical guest spot, the 23-year old rapper expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to perform on the show and referenced previous musical guest, Kanye West.

This will be Harlow’s SNL debut as musical guest. Harlow dropped his album debut, That’s What They All Say, in December of last year. On the album, the rapper celebrates his breakthrough as a rapper as he ventures outside of his hometown of Louisville, KY.

Even as a young and up-and-coming rapper, Harlow has an immensely large following. He’s best known for his 2020 single, “Whats Poppin” and the official remix of the song featuring heavyweight rappers DaBaby, Tory Lanez, and Lil Wayne. “Whats Poppin” was widely shared amongst users on the social media platform TikTok. The music video for the single was viewed over 128 million times as of this month. On Harlow’s 22nd birthday, he released a seven-track project called Sweet Action and has been releasing multiple singles since then.

Harlow’s scheduled appearance on the show will definitely help bring in the younger demographic that the show needs to keep afloat as he has a large audience stemming from his current releases. In addition, he possesses indelible energy that would match perfectly with a cast member such as Pete Davidson. I can see the show producing a rap-based sketch similar to ones we’ve seen previously on the show in order to utilize Harlow as more than just a musical performer and to further showcase any acting or comedic chops that he might have.

Related Story. Revisit Maya Rudolph's Emmy-winning performance as Kamala Harris. light

What are your predictions for this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to check back with Last Night On for a full recap of the best sketches.