Saturday Night Live was in very good hands last night with first-time host and sketch-comedy veteran Keegan-Michael Key, who accepted nothing less than pulling out all the stops for his opening monologue. At the top of the segment, Key explained that he, like any SNL nerd, spent his youth sneaking downstairs to watch the show every weekend at his home in Detroit. “If you had told that kid that one day he would be standing here on this stage, he probably would’ve been too busy stealing your wallet to have heard what you said.” he told the audience. “But I’ve come a long way since then, and I am so honored to be here, and because of that, I am going to make the most of it.”
All those years of learning about every SNL monologue cliché were put to good use with what came next: a collection of “every single SNL thing” he could possibly fit into that opening segment, including a song, a quick costume change (from tuxedo to tuxedo), a question from an audience member (played by writer Steven Castillo), and onstage cameo appearances by cast members Pete Davidson, Cecily Strong, and Kenan Thompson — who, both men politely reminded the audience, are not the same. “I just wanted to stand next to you so everybody can see that we are two different people, and we have two different names,” Thompson said. “I am Kenan with an N — as in, ‘Kenan has been on SNL for many many years.’” Congrats to Keenan and Kegan for finally clearing that up.