Jason Momoa returned to host SNL for the second time on Saturday, and while his duties brought a few fun moments, it was musical guest — Canadian pop star and dancer extraordinaire — Tate McRae who seemed to really steal the show.
One week after Timothée Chalamet was on to promote his upcoming film Wonka, the big-budget movie star theme kept going with Momoa appearing in support of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. But despite the host’s star power, the buzz on social media mostly points to McRae and her performance of the song “Greedy,” which paid homage to her dancing roots.
Here’s a look at what went down, what people are saying and what’s coming next on SNL.
After a thankful but uneventful monologue from Momoa, one of his most talked about sketches of the night was timely in theme, as the show gave its take on Thanksgiving parades with The Hudson News Thanksgiving Week Airport Parade at Newark Airport.
The parade features various traveler stereotypes and includes people like “woman who refuses to check a bag,” “woman who took her Ambien a little too early,” “woman with service animals she clearly doesn’t need” and “TSA agent shouting the same thing 12 different ways.” Momoa plays an airline pilot and parade correspondent on location from the airport Chili’s bar.
Another fun moment for Momoa was a sketch based on the popular TikTok trend where men are asked how often they think about the Roman Empire. Momoa ended up decked out in full-on gladiator armor as one of three men rapping about why they think about ancient Rome so much, along with Mikey Day and Keenan Thompson.
McRae’s big day
The musical guest for the evening was 20-year-old McRae, who originally gained notoriety as the first Canadian finalist on Fox’s dancing reality competition show, So You Think You Can Dance, in 2016 at the age of 13.
She piggy-backed on that success by releasing a song called “One Day” in 2017 that went viral on YouTube and TikTok. That earned her a record deal with RCA records, and in the ensuing years her accomplishments include having the most-streamed female EP of 2021 on Spotify, and being the youngest musician featured on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2021.
Her latest album, Think Later, is due in early December and on Saturday, she performed the first single off of that called “Greedy.”
The performance featured a big moment from McRae, who shed all of her back-up dancers for a solo dance break that turned plenty of heads on X (formerly Twitter) with some comparing her to Britney Spears early in her career, and many happily discovering McRae for the first time.
After watching her on SNL tonight, I’m proud to say that Pop Music’s next breakout superstar has officially arrived and her name is Ms. Tate McRae. To sum up her beauty, style, voice, stage presence and choreography in one word? WOW! 😮🔥 Her future is really bright and I’m pic.twitter.com/2v1U0mPcxW
— Ryan, Pop Culture Junkie (@TheHavanaNation) November 19, 2023
McRae also debuted a new ballad called “Grave” on the show. And one day after picking up plenty of new fans on SNL, she turned in yet another epic performance of “Greedy” on the Billboard Music Awards.
The show will return December 2 with Emma Stone as host, which officially makes her a member of the five-timers club. While some legendary hosts have certainly surpassed that number, the handful of stars still sitting at the magic number five includes Ben Affleck, Melissa McCarthy, Dwayne Johnson, Candice Bergen, Bill Murray, Justin Timberlake, Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill.
Along with Stone, the musical guest on Dec. 2 will be singer/songwriter Noah Kahan, an indie rock musician from Vermont.
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays on NBC.