ICYMI Jenna Ortega’s SNL Waffle House Skit Had Everyone in Tears… but There’s More
Jenna Ortega‘s highly-anticipated hosting debut on SNL was a big moment. She’s the second Latino host of the season and the youngest thus far. The internet’s favorite new scream queen gave it her all in every sketch, but there were definitely some highlights.
Ortega’s SNL episode wasn’t the laugh-a-minute riot that Pedro Pascal‘s was. But the sketches that did hit, they hit hard. Following a so-so monologue where Ortega seemed like she was still shedding some pre-show jitters, the episode gave us more than a few moments worth remembering.
Here are our favorite sketches from last weekend’s episode of SNL!
Let’s just get this one out of the way now. Those who frequent Waffle House know it can sometimes be breakfast and a show. And the episode’s Waffle House-inspired sketch was by far the best of the night. It takes such a simple premise (high school sweethearts break up in front of a Waffle House) and really makes it sing.
As these two young lovebirds bid each other adieu, no fewer than 15 people participate in a Waffle House scuffle that ends with the police tasing a man who then calls their bluff by taking the darts out of his chest and putting them down his pants.
The whole thing is hilarious from beginning to end. However, the punchline is what really ties it all together. After Ortega’s character says her final goodbyes to her boyfriend, played by Marcello Hernandez, it turns out that Taser Man is actually her dad. It’s such a great, “well, of course, that’s how it ends” joke that you still don’t see coming.
It’s possible that the SNL writers played it a bit safe this week, knowing who Ortega’s fan base is. But this sketch is easily one of the most bizarrely hilarious ones since the Joker Wedding sketch from Jack Harlow’s episode a few weeks back. Like so many of SNL’s best bits, it takes one weird joke and stretches it out as far as it can go.
One of the night’s more underappreciated sketches came in the form of a hilarious “Ridiculousness” parody. Here, Ortega plays a guest panelist on the show named Lee Lee Two Times. What starts as a pretty standard episode of the popular MTV comedy takes a dark turn when Lee Lee begins telling some…really dark stories.
First, she reminisces on the time her cousin had her head cut off after falling off a boat. The hosts try and move on as quickly as possible, but Lee Lee dives into another story about a mutant litter of cats that come out of the womb looking like some kind of deformed rat king.
Before long, the entire thing is derailed as regular panelists Steelo Brim and Chanel West Coast become preoccupied by Lee Lee’s story. Our only complaint is wishing the sketch was longer. We want more of Lee Lee’s twisted, deeply upsetting anecdotes!
The Parent Trap
The episode’s Parent Trap sketch was pretty much a guaranteed success thanks to Fred Armisen. The longtime SNL castmember and “Wednesday” co-star made an appearance this week during another hilarious sketch about a remake of “The Parent Trap” gone awry.
Since Ortega’s character is, of course, required to play both roles, the only way to shoot the film is with a stand-in, played by Armisen. The thing is, this guy can’t seem to stay on-script. Instead of the wholesome tale we all know and love, Armisen sets the tone by immediately calling Ortega’s character “a real bitch.”
Before long, he’s diving into tangents about conspiring to kill their parents and wondering if the characters should have to use the bathroom. It wasn’t the night’s best effort, by any means, but seeing Armisen do just about anything on SNL is more than we could ask for now that he’s no longer on the show.
SNL Honorable Mentions: School vs. School and Road Trip
These weren’t our favorite sketches of the night, but Ortega really shined in the School vs. School “X-Men” parody. Playing a version of Rogue, renamed Zena in the sketch, Ortega’s angsty mutant teenager is absolutely hilarious. Mikey Day shines, as well, playing an exasperated Professor X who constantly reminds Zena that she’s “not ready.”
If we were being nitpicky, we might say the sketch needed a little more direction to land the way it could have. But with Kenan Thompson doing what he does best — reacting to the insanity that surrounds him — School vs. School is still a good time.
Elsewhere, Ortega’s collaboration with SNL’s new trio Please Don’t Destroy has a lot of fun with the idea of a friendly road trip that quickly turns contentious. We all love the idea of hitting the open road at full speed, but the reality of those long car rides isn’t the fantasy we want it to be.
It’s nowhere near the best PDD sketch of the last couple seasons, but Ortega’s chemistry with this SNL trio is undeniable. From the overtly Jesus-y billboards to Venmo requests for Big Gulps, the Road Trip sketch will bring back memories for anyone who’s looked at their friend and said, “I’m bored, let’s go somewhere.”
The internet reacts to Jenna Ortega on SNL
For the most part, people really dug Ortega’s appearance on the most recent SNL. The fan favorite was, unsurprisingly, the Waffle House sketch.
That last tweet, however, brings up a good point. For an episode hosted by Jenna Ortega, it does seem like the writers didn’t give her a ton of big laughs. Again, it really did feel like they were playing it safe in a lot of ways. But the Waffle House sketch works because it utilizes Ortega’s dramatic chops in service of something truly hilarious.
Fans showed their love for some of the other sketches, too. Like this Twitter user, who really loved the Exorcism sketch!
However, that same poster quickly took it back, labeling The Parent Trap sketch as their favorite.
However, a few posters were less than thrilled about Ortega’s appearance…
For the most part, however, Ortega’s fans were just happy to see her host SNL so early in her career. In fact, her outfits may be the most widely celebrated part of the entire episode.