“SNL” Icon Kate McKinnon Returned to Host the Show—And Sing Christmas Carols

“I’ve never been myself in a monologue before,” McKinnon joked. “I usually played the role of freak next to hot person.” 

Kate McKinnon (center) returned to Saturday Night Live to host the show for the first time on December 16, 2023NBC

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Former Saturday Night Live cast member Kate McKinnon returned to host the show—for the first time ever—on Saturday night. 

“I’ve never been myself in a monologue before,” McKinnon said in her opening. “I usually played the role of freak next to hot person.” 

Before the rest of the show got underway, McKinnon sang (altered) Christmas carols about going “home for Christmas” and joked about returning to her former workplace, even flashing her original (and, by her own admission, awkward) NBC ID badge from her first days on SNL, back in 2012. Her former cast mates Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig also made surprise appearances during her monologue. 

McKinnon starred in a spate of mostly holiday-themed skits playing typically awkward characters, including a self-loathing mother handing out Christmas gifts to her kids, one-quarter of ABBA (along with Wiig, Rudolph and current SNL cast member Bowen Yang), and a candy-vomiting Scottish Christmas elf. Musical guest Billie Eilish performed her song “What Was I Made For?” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” 

McKinnon starred on the show for a decade before departing last spring with a wave of others, including Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, and Kyle Mooney. Towards the end of her tenure, she portrayed various characters within the Trump administration, including Jeff Sessions, Rudy Giuliani, and Kellyanne Conway.

Check out her monologue from last night below: 

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

payment methods

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate