Kerry Washington hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time last night with musical guest Eminem. Washington’s hosting stint didn’t just come on the heels of Scandal’s massive success and the announcement of the star’s pregnancy. Washington also had to take center stage at Studio 8H in the middle of a massive controversy about how the show doesn’t currently have a single black woman in its cast (even though there are tons of hilarious black ladies in comedy today). So how did the actress who plays Olivia Pope fix the controversy? By facing it dead on.
Saturday Night Live’s cold open is usually where the program tackles political satire or current events humor. This week, SNL poked fun at itself.
Washington made her entrance as Michelle Obama, a character who’s only been seen on SNL when Maya Rudolph deigns to drop in, to wild applause, but she, Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah soon broke the fourth wall to mock how Washington also had to play Oprah and Beyonce because no one else in the cast could.
A chyron soon appeared onscreen that said:
“The producers at Saturday Night Live would like to apologize to Kerry Washington for the number of black women she will be asked to play tonight. We made these requests both because Ms. Washington is an actress of considerable range and talent and also because ’SNL’ does not currently have a black woman in the cast. As for the latter reason, we agree this is not an ideal situation and look forward to rectifying it in the near future…unless of course we fall in love with another white guy first.”
However, the show wasn’t just about controversy; it was also about comedy.
Washington was game throughout the night to play a variety of characters, but her best outing was probably opposite Jay Pharaoh in a surprisingly smart and fun take on Ylvis’s viral hit, “The Fox.” The show put its spin on the absurd song by bringing it back to Earth and making it about a couple’s relationship woes.
Saturday Night Live returns in two weeks on November 16. Lady Gaga will host and be the musical guest.
[Photo Credit: NBC]