Kate McKinnon joins Ariana DeBose for an ‘SNL’ opening monologue inspired by ‘West Side Story.’
For her first-ever ‘SNL’ hosting appearance, Ariana DeBose shook things up! For the ultimate ‘West Side Story medley, the actress had help from cast member Kate McKinnon.
The inaugural episode of Saturday Night Live in 2022 was hosted by Ariana DeBose, 30. The West Side Story actress paid tribute to the film she recently featured in with the help of Kate McKinnon, who said she’s a huge fan of the musical (but has yet to see the film).
«I’ve loved it since elementary school,» Kate explained, citing COVID-19 as her reason for skipping Ariana’s version of the movie. She joked, «I don’t leave the house because of COVID, and also because I don’t leave the house.»
Ariana DeBose’s Monologue! pic.twitter.com/HVbv6lxtdo
— Saturday Night Live — SNL (@nbcsnl) January 16, 2022
Regardless, Kate demonstrated her die-hard status by belting out some of the musical’s most renowned tunes, including «I Feel Pretty,» «Tonight,» «America,» and «Something’s Coming.» Ariana revealed she had been on Broadway after describing Kate’s performance as «very nice,» but only to explain that she had visited «the street» itself.
Ariana posted to Instagram shortly after the news was released on Jan. 9 to share the career highlight with her 238,000 followers. «I’m hosting @nbcsnl,» she captioned the iconic post-it note that announces the show each week on SNL’s social media page with a mind exploding emoji. «Hold please while I collect my extremities, as I have erupted from excitement and reasonable terror,» Ariana added to the post, which received over 40,000 likes.
Several renowned fans and friends, like SNL, cast member Cecily Strong, poured their hearts out in the comments area. «WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT!!!» Cecily remarked. Many more celebrities joined in, including Eva Longoria, Joshua Henry, Gabrielle Union, and many more.
“Omg!!!!’ Eva, who presented the show in 2005, used clapping emojis to express her gratitude. «Wait, what?!?» says the narrator. «Go, Ariana!» she exclaims. Gab merely added heart and fire emojis as a show of solidarity, while Joshua wrote.
Ariana received critical acclaim for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Jerome Robbins’ 1957 musical West Side Story, which featured music by Leonard Bernstein. Rita Moreno, aged 90, co-starred with Ariana in the 2021 remake as Valentina (in the original 1961 film, she played Anita, the same character Ariana does).
However, much like the final episode of 2021, this week’s episode had a lot of last-minute changes: rapper Roddy Ricch was supposed to make his Studio 8H debut until he was yanked because of COVID-19 exposure.
Instead, Jack Antonoff’s band Bleachers was scheduled to perform on Jan. 12 at the last minute, and Ariana began filming promos shortly after. «The most difficult attempt to date at removing the sadness from Saturday night… «The first musical guest of 2022 is bleachers,» the band announced on social media.