‘SNL’: Kate McKinnon Crashes Ariana DeBose’s Opening Monologue For Performance Of ‘West Side Story’ Medley
16th January 2022

Ariana DeBose tonight made her first appearance as host of SNL, talking in her opening monologue about her performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of West Side Story, which recently netted her a Golden Globe.

“Now, not many people know this, but West Side Story is actually based on another classic tale of star-crossed lovers,” the actress joked. “90 Day Fiancé.”

In any case, she said, she’s pleased to be on the show tonight to represent not only the Latino community, but also that of Broadway. “Obviously, Broadway has been through a lot these past couple of years, but we are a community that perseveres,” she said. “I believe Broadway changes lives. I mean, hey, it changed mine, and Broadway has this magical ability to bring people together.”

DeBose continued to say that we “can all use” a little bit of Broadway right now, teeing up her performance of a medley of songs from West Side Story, only to have Kate McKinnon come barging on the stage.

“Did I hear, ‘Sing songs from West Side Story with Kate McKinnon?’” the SNL cast member wondered.

“Uh, no,” replied DeBose. “But hi, Kate.”

“I’m sorry. It’s just, it’s my favorite show,” said McKinnon. “I’ve loved it since I was in elementary school.”

Naturally, then, DeBose wondered what she thought of the new film adaptation.

“I didn’t see it,” McKinnon deadpanned. “I don’t leave the house because of Covid, and also because I don’t leave the house.”

“Well, in that case,” said DeBose, “why don’t we bring out some stools and we can sing together?”

And sing they did, with DeBose and McKinnon performing portions of such tunes as “Tonight,” “I Feel Pretty,” “Something’s Coming” and “America.”

“That was pretty good, Kate,” DeBose said, early on in their performance.

“Yeah, I know. I’ve been on Broadway,” replied McKinnon. “Like, the sidewalk.”

DeBose is joined for tonight’s show by Jack Antonoff’s indie pop act Bleachers. While rapper Roddy Ricch was initially slated to appear in tonight’s musical guest slot, he was forced to bow out of the show on Wednesday after being exposed to Covid.

Deadline will update this story with video when it comes in.

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