Taking place the night before Mother’s Day, this episode has historically been treated as a Mother’s Day episode, with special songs and sketches dedicated to and often featuring cast members’ mothers. This cold open was no different.
Standing on stage at Studio 8H, she sang part of Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” before bringing out some of the NBC late-night sketch comedy series’ cast members and their real-life mothers, including Kate McKinnon and Laura Campbell, who did a quick impression of Molly Shannon’s Mary Catherine Gallagher, and Aidy Bryant and Georganne Vinall, the latter of whom plugged her daughter’s show. When Bryant noted that “SNL” is not just her show, Vinall followed it up by plugging the third and final season of “Shrill” on Hulu.
Kyle Mooney’s mother Linda Kozub Mooney noted that he owed her two Mother’s Day gifts since they couldn’t spend this time last year together.
“I kind of thought the trip out here was the gift,” he said, to which she replied a firm, “No.”
Beck Bennett and Mikey Day appeared on stage together with their mothers, which resulted in a gag in which Day’s mother said she “couldn’t wait” to be able to hug, but she was talking about Bennett. Meanwhile Chris Redd’s mother joked that she hadn’t seen him since “Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and our spring break vacation,” and Kenan Thompson said his mother, Elizabeth Ann Thompson, “taught me everything I know, including reaction shots,” which lead to them showing off a classic one. Heidi Gardner appeared with her mother, as well, although she said, “They didn’t write me a joke,” and then later pulled her mother back on stage while Cecily Strong didn’t want to say her punchline because she was just “too happy” her mother was there.
Melissa Villaseñor’s mother complimented her on her ability to do impressions, though when Villaseñor attempted to impersonate her own mother, she was told, “That one needs work.” Chloe Fineman told her mother she was her best friend, to which she was told her mother’s best friend was Fineman’s father. “And we must go, dad’s asking Elon Musk for financial advice,” Fineman said as they exited stage right.
Bowen Yang’s mother kissed him on stage and then sprayed Purell on his face, and Ego Nwodim’s mother told her she was proud of her but “of course” would be more proud if Nwodim was a doctor. New cast members Lauren Holt and Punkie Johnson toasted with their mothers, and when Johnson’s mother downed the whole glass, she said, “What? It’s been a long year.”
Pete Davidson joke-lectured his mother about being more responsible when she admitted she almost didn’t make it because she was “playing Madden with [Timothée] Chalamet,” while Colin Jost’s mother was holding cards she said Michael Che gave her to read live. “You shouldn’t do that, you’re going to get our whole family canceled,” he said.
Cyrus continued singing in between the appearances and wished both Parton, who is her godmother, and her mother Tish Cyrus a happy Mother’s Day before everyone appeared for the iconic “Live from New York…” sign off. She was tapped as the episode’s musical guest, while billionaire businessman Elon Musk was the host. Musk did not appear in the cold open.
Happy Mother’s Day from SNL! pic.twitter.com/QFaVVGA84r
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) May 9, 2021
“Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC. For the first time ever, the show was also livestreamed on YouTube for the international audience.