Issa Rae made her “Saturday Night Live” debut as a host on Saturday (Oct. 17), alongside musical guest Justin Bieber. The “Insecure” star reflected on how “scared” she was to be following in the footsteps of comedy legends like Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Molly Shannon.
During her opening monologue, Rae revealed that she was supposed to host the show in March before the global pandemic hit to promote her movies The Photograph and The Lovebirds, as well as the premiere of her HBO show’s fourth season.
“I was actually supposed to host the show back in March, when I had two movies and season four of my show ‘Insecure’ coming out. But now I’m here and there really is no reason, I have nothing going on. At all,” the actress joked during her monologue. “People keep asking me ‘What are you working on?’ And I’m like, ‘Puzzles, bitch, I don’t know! What have you been working on since you’re all up in my business?’”
The Photograph actress appeared in just three live sketches, two of which aired during the first half-hour. She appeared on “Canadian News Show,” “First Date Exes” and “Your Voice Chicago.” During the “Your Voice Chicago” skit, a Chicago news anchor and his two guests discuss who they will be voting for in an upcoming local election. Rae’s character then uses the actress’ now-famous line: “I’m rooting for everybody Black.”
Toward the end of the skit, Kenan Thompson’s character says they will be talking about the presidential race between Donald Trump, Joe Biden and Kanye West. Rae’s character then says: “Kanye? F— him!”
The rapper reacted to the skit early on Sunday (Oct. 18) and seemed unhappy with the Emmy nominee mentioning his name during the skit. “I’ve always said ‘SNL’ uses black people to hold other black people back,” West tweeted. “My heart goes out to Issa Rae. I’m praying for her and her family. I know that the twenty years of service that I’ve paid in the entertainment field has furthered our ability to be more successful.”
Rae also shared that her appearance on “SNL” felt like her high school prom since it took place exactly four years after the series premiere of “Insecure” on HBO. The premiere was also a month prior to the 2016 presidential election, and Rae said she felt “awkward” for her success at the time.
“It felt awkward for my life to be going so good, like it was rude for me to be peaking right when democracy was collapsing,” she quipped. “It’s weird to say, ‘Thank God for what happened in the Fall of 2016.’”