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‘SNL’ Best moments: Ariana DeBose, Elmo and Rocco

Kate McKinnon and Ariana DeBose

New York City was even more prominent than usual during this weekend’s episode “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by “West Side Story” and Broadway star Ariana DeBose.

Following a brief break and a Christmas episode that was cut short because of the Omicron growth, the sketch comedy program was back on the air this weekend featuring DeBose and musical guests Bleachers, an indie-pop group led by the producer, and New Yorker Jack Antonoff. The show was just as New Yorky: cast member Chris Redd debuted as the city’s “swaggering” new mayor, Eric Adams.

The DeBose’s “SNL” debut airs one month following the theatrical release of Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of “West Side Story,” an “Romeo and Juliet” story set in the 1950s New York City, which film reviewers praised.

This week, DeBose won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the role of Anita, an actress she praised, particularly in the middle in her “SNL” monologue. (For most of the time studios, actors have minimized their involvement to The Globes because they were first announced. Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. that distributes them was in the news in the past year over an absence in the diversity of their audience and unethical behavior.)

“Not many people are aware of this the story “West Side Story” is actually based on a classic love story about star-crossed lovers” 90 Day Fiance,” ‘” DeBose joked during her monologue.

“But it’s great to represent not just the Latino community, specifically the Afro-Latina community but also that of the Broadway community. … It is a group that is resilient. I’m convinced that Broadway can change lives. In fact, it did change mine. Broadway is a magical way to unite people, and I believe we could all benefit from a bit of Broadway today.”

The professional stage presence of DeBose and his cheerful optimism were a welcome contrast to the last “SNL” show featuring a short pandemic PSA from Tom Hanks along with a mix of recorded and old sketches during an outbreak of COVID-19. The Omicron variant of COVID-19 swept throughout New York.

Here are a few highlights from the Saturday episode, some of which are profane.

The president pleads with people not to watch ‘Spider-Man’ anymore.

In the cold opening, president Biden (James Austin Johnson) delivered a message to his fellow Americans to stop watching “Spider-Man The Last Way Home,” the first movie to break box office records just before the Omicron surge began to erupt.

“America, I’m here today to inform you of one easy thing you can do to help make this virus go away: stop seeing ‘Spider-Man,’ He said.

“Think about it. When did ‘Spider-Man’ come out? Dec. 17. When did every single person get Omicron? The week after Dec. 17. Stop seeing ‘Spider-Man.’ That’s really all I have to say.”

DeBose and McKinnon perform their heartfelt songs.

A fan-favorite “SNL” actor Kate McKinnon snuck into DeBose’s mono (because obviously, she did) to perform an impromptu “West Side Story” performance that showed off the host’s Grammy-winning singing voice. And McKinnon’s.

The most memorable moment of their duet was when Ariana DeBose sang, “I feel beautiful and funny and gay,” and McKinnon was able to get an elbow bump. DeBose, as well as McKinnon, are both parts of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Did I hear the singing tunes of “West Side Story” with Kate McKinnon’?” McKinnon declared as she made her grand appearance. “It’s my absolute favorite show. I’ve always loved it since I was in elementary school.”
“Oh,” DeBose said. “Well did you enjoy the film?”

“I didn’t notice the thing,” McKinnon replied.

Elmo and Rocco take over “Weekend Update.”

“Weekend Update” team was treated to a special appearance by “Sesame Street” star Elmo (Chloe Fineman). He was a viral sensation via social networks this month due to his ongoing battle with his pet rock, Rocco.

“OK Look,” Fineman’s Elmo said when confronted about a newly resurfaced “Sesame Street” video of the adorable puppet getting lost in Zoe’s rock that his friend has adopted as her pet. “Elmo admit Elmo overreacted. Then Elmo apologized for his actions in a lengthy Instagram post. Elmo will get over it.”

However, Unhinged Elmo was unleashed as the only person who could be called Rocco himself was able to wheel into the frame of an office chair that was tiny.

“Why does Rocco get a chair?” Elmo demanded. “Rocco doesn’t need a chair. Rocco has no legs at all. The Rocco is an actual rock. What’s Rocco doing?” Flames soon ignited in the wake of Elmo’s meltdown, alluding to another well-known meme on social media.

DeBose gives her twist on “The Sound of Music.”

In a memorable comedy sketch, DeBose made fun of the iconic “Do-Re-Mi” in “The The Sound of Music” with a new set of lyrics.

‘D’oh, it’s a phrase that Homer Simpson says. “Ray,” a movie featuring Jamie Foxx,” DeBose sang to the astonishment of his Von Trapp children and their governess (McKinnon).

“Me as ‘Me’ Myself and Irene. Far, just like “fart” without a T.”

Chris Redd takes on Eric Adams.

In a second New York-centric moment, Redd gave a news conference in the role of Adams with the assistance of a City Hall spokesperson played by DeBose.

“As you’re aware that it’s been a difficult couple of months in New York, but we have a new mayor and he’s hungry,” DeBose said. “But I’m going to warn that the mayor doesn’t like chaos. If you’re a bit agitated I’ll come after you, okay? Then please show your appreciation to your new mayor. He’s the most charming uncle at your barbeque. Gentlemen and ladies, Eric Adams.”

“What’s up in New York?” Redd’s Adams stated. “It’s your hometown hero the hero of your town, Eric Adams. Are you feeling it? New York is back, baby. The city has never seen a mayor with this swagger and effervescence before. … The city is suffering from what I would like to refer to as a swages life. You’re not swaggering around. This is why you’re sick. Sorry.”

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