Ayo Edebiri debuted as host of Saturday Night Live with a nod to her earlier years as an aspiring SNL writer, and later on owned up to past accusations towards Jennifer Lopez, the show’s musical guest that night.
“Before all of this, I was a standup comic in New York City writing jokes and doing open mics…but I really always wanted to do this show. I once wrote a packet but I never really had the nerve to submit it,” she said, before reading a few portions from it.
“You guys know that sketch called Black Jeopardy? Well, I wanted to do a sketch called White Jeopardy, which didn’t work because it was just white people playing Jeopardy,” she joked. Edebiri then revealed a catch-phrase she had created for just about anyone, versatile enough for even the Queen of England: “Hop-on to it nuh.”
But ultimately the packet didn’t seem to pass muster. “Yeah, I think we’re done with this,” she said, handing it off. “Burn it.”
“Before shooting the first season, we all had to work in actual restaurants so we could truly capture that kitchen energy,” she recalled. “When people saw my co-star, Jeremy Allen White, working in the restaurant, they’d be like, ‘Oh, that’s Jeremy Allen White, he must be preparing for a role. So method!’ And when they saw me, they were just like, ‘How much longer for my tilapia?’”
Edebiri, whose father is Nigerian and whose mother is from Barbados, also joked about her upbringing.
“I was born and raised in Boston, which makes me the first Black woman to ever admit that. Yeah, three days into February and I’m already making Black history.”
While Edebiri’s idea for White Jeopardy never came to pass, later in the night she played a contestant in a game show called Why’d You Say It?, where players explain their questionable Instagram comments.
At one point, Edebiri alluded to comments she had made on a podcast in 2020 that were critical of Jennifer Lopez, SNL‘s musical guest. Edebiri had suggested that Lopez was using ghost singers.
“We get it. It’s wrong to leave mean comments or post comments just for clout, or run your mouth on a podcast and you don’t consider the impact because you’re 24 and stupid,” Edebiri said Saturday, “but I think I speak for everyone when I say from now on, we’re going to be a lot more thoughtful about what we post online.”