But before the comedy legends, ex-SNL cast members, and Only Murders in the Building co-stars took the stage—marking Martin’s 16th time hosting, one shy of Alec Baldwin’s record 17—things kicked off with a cold-open sketch set in a Manhattan high-rise apartment as a group of revelers dressed to the nines, played by Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, and Bowen Yang, discussed the chaotic past few years.
“It’s hard not to feel helpless,” says Strong. “I always think I should be doing more for myself, for friends, for society. But then I remember…”
With that, she bursts into song: “It’s Christmas, and all of my stress fades away. All the problems and issues and crying and tissues can wait until January!”
She then urges the rest to get in on the fun, prompting Thompson to croon, “My drinking… it’s starting to get out of hand. I knew that it may have crossed into a dark place when Burger King said I was banned. But… maybe I’ll just make that my brand! Till Christmas…”
Not to be outdone, Yang chimed in: “My mental health… my mental health hasn’t been great. I wake up at noon and the sun’s somehow setting then I fall back asleep around eight. But I can live in a delusional state… for Christmas.”
Before you could say “under the mistletoe,” Ego Nwodim and Sarah Sherman materialized as backup singers.
“Elon… why does he own all the stuff? Why does he have to run Tesla and Twitter, was outer space not enough?” sang Strong.
“And Hitler… since when did Hitler come back?” added Yang. “Didn’t we basically all agree years ago that Hitler should never come back?”
Cue Thompson: “And why are his new fans Black?!”