Actress Natasha Lyonne appeared on Saturday Night Live on May 21 to host the show’s 47th season finale.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t just any show. Four popular cast members – Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney – left the show after several years of comedic performances.
However, it was Natasha Lyonne and her ex-boyfriend Fred Armisen who stole the show… at least during her opening monologue.
Natasha Lyonne Joked About Her Netflix Hit ‘Russian Doll’ On ‘Saturday Night Live’
In her opening monologue, which was transcribed by Deadline, the “Orange Is the New Black” star joked about her hit Netflix show “Russian Doll” while making her hosting debut.
“Gosh, will you look at this?” Lyonne asked the audience as she stepped out on stage. “I’m hosting the season finale of Saturday Night Live. For a real New Yorker like me, that’s big.”
Lyonne then began to plug the second season of her hit Netflix show. The second season only recently debuted on the streaming service due to COVID-19 filming delays. “I have a show called Russian Doll. The second season … just premiered on Netflix, and two things you really want to be associated with right now are Russia and Netflix,” Lyonne quipped.
Lyonne described herself as “genuinely humbled” to be hosting Saturday Night Live, even going as far as to say that she felt a “cosmic connection” to the NBC sketch series.
“The people here are my real-life chosen family. I’ve been coming here since I was a teenager,” Lyonne explained. “I co-created Russian Doll with Amy Poehler, and I have great friends from the show.”
At this point, SNL alums Maya Rudolph and Lyonne’s ex-boyfriend Fred Armisen, who she had lived with during the COVID-19 lockdown, took to the stage to start impersonating her. The two squinted and tried to imitate her signature raspy voice, saying things like “Ipso facto” and “C—-a-roach.”
Lyonne Opens Up On Her Relationship With Fred Armisen
After the two left the stage, Lyonne admitted that she and Armisen had dated for about seven years before they only recently decided to call it quits.
Lyonne joked, “We’re the only couple with a sex tape nobody wanted to buy,” before getting back to her big hosting debut. before getting back to her big hosting debut.
“SNL combines everything I like: New York City, show business, people who have done the same thing since the ’70s, and different unions fighting. I love it,” she quipped. “I mean, I’m a New York City kid and a show biz baby. Weird story, but while I have you, listen to this.”
Lyonne explained that she was born in New York, joking “doesn’t matter what year… early ’80s, probably.”
When she was still young, her parents felt that she might have a future as an actress and let her start auditioning for roles.
Lyonne joked, “A lot of casting directors, it turns out, are looking for a Little Orphan Annie type who talks like Dee Dee Ramone.” She then showed audiences a clip from one of her earliest roles.
The clip – which can be seen in the video above – shows a young Lyonne as Opal in a 1986 episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Lyonne joked that her appearance was some of her best work to date.
“Anyway, I do some TV, my mom and I move to the Upper East Side. Suddenly, I’m in the movies,” she continued. “Oh, I was in all those ’90s movies: American Pie, American Pie 2, American Pie in the Multiverse of Madness, et cetera. Oh, and a cult favorite called But I’m a Cheerleader.”
She then got candid, saying, things were going great… “and then knock, knock. Who’s there? Multiple arrests and drug addiction.”
Although she said she went to h— and back during that time, she joked, “But just like when Fabio was on that rollercoaster and the bird flew in his face … just like when that happened, I brushed myself off, and I got back on the ride. And now I’m here.”
“All right, so I’m conflating events, glossing over entire decades,” she confessed. “But I’m here, and I’ll tell you what I’ve found. There’s always hope in despair, and there’s always a reason to get back in the ring and fight another day.”
Lyonne’s monologue was met with thunderous applause from the audience. The musical guest for the episode was Japanese Breakfast.