James Franco delivered the laughs as host of the Saturday, December 9, episode of Saturday Night Live — featuring musical guest SZA. A few star-studded cameos and one Weekend Update anchor’s undercover assignment didn’t hurt either. Here are the SNL moments everyone’s talking about.
Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Steve Martin Crash the Monologue
Franco’s monologue seemed destined to head down that all too familiar “questions from the audience” route. That is, until we saw his pal Seth Rogen sitting in the crowd. Rogen claimed he was only there because he won a ticket in the SNL lottery, but he was also resentful of Franco for having hosted SNL more times than him.
Jonah Hill stopped by to join in Rogen’s excitement for SZA and bash Franco. “People wanna see that?” he asked when he discovered Franco was hosting.
Finally, the camera panned up to reveal Steve Martin was also in the crowd. Martin was wistful for his days of hosting, although Franco assured him he’s still hot. “Do I look hot?” Martin yelled while clutching a fountain drink in his not-so-hot balcony seats.
There’s nothing we love more than a star-filled monologue, especially when the stars are this funny.
Gift Wrap Gone Bad
Franco’s department store employee was a self-proclaimed “freaking nut for Christmas,” but he couldn’t have bargained for what happened when he was wrapping gifts for customers. What began as a simple papercut turned into a literal bloodbath. As Franco’s character proceeded to cut off “just the tips” of his fingers and his foot, the visual gag was so laugh-out-loud hilarious the cast — including Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Kenan Thompson — couldn’t help but break into fits of giggles.
A White Woman Named Gretchen
As part of a Weekend Update segment, Michael Che went undercover as a liberal white woman named Gretchen. Crotchet hats and reading a Lena Dunham book helped Gretchen blend right in as she took on manspreaders, the monarchy and anyone who dared to question Cardi B’s influence on the feminist movement.
SZA’s Showstopping Performances
SZA slayed with two powerful performances, both elevated by a choir singing backup. “The Weekend” and “Love Galore” were both straight fire, with SZA showcasing her strong vocals in her SNL debut.
Dave Franco Makes a Late Cameo
The entirely unremarkable final sketch of the night centered on a Franco family reunion, and while we don’t mind if we never see “pretty Mandy” again, we were glad James’s brother and Disaster Artist costar Dave Franco made a brief cameo before the show came to a close.
Saturday Night Live airs on NBC Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET.