Kate McKinnon’s Triumphant Return is SNL’s Best Show of the Year

This was the holiday party we needed, a treasure under the Rockefeller tree. Saturday Night Live welcomed Kate McKinnon back into its bosom this week, for her first hosting gig after her 10-year tenure as cast favorite. She looked positively verklempt up there at the start of her monologue, pleasingly herky jerky with her body as she stammered about how little she liked talking in her regular voice. “Ever since I left this job, because my skin was reacting poorly to the prosthetics, I’ve been trying to assemble a human personality,” she explained. “So far, I have a hat.” 

She showed us old photos of her in her junior prom renaissance fair dress and looking like a Grey’s Anatomy first-year resident on her old NBC badge. Lorne Michaels demanded she sing, so she sidled up to a tiny piano, crooning out the wistful opening lines of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Well, Christmas came early, because she was soon flanked by dream Supremes Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig—wearing natty sequins to her black tux—who joined her in caroling the tune: “We came home for Christmas, it’s time to start the show.”

And truly, the best show of the year it was. The highlight of a very high evening was “Tampon Farm,” in which McKinnon strapped on a guitar and a shag wig and sang about a “utopia of women” where lesbians grow tampons in corn stalks and cabbage heads, and shake them loose from the trees. All the SNL women out there working the fiber fields, plus Wiig, Rudolph, musical guest Billie Eilish, and the original bad news bear Paula Pell. May Tampon Farm eventually find its way to the Broadway stage.


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