Between a dirty discovery in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial and a surprise guest appearing as the inventor of the whoopee cushion, there was plenty of bathroom-related humor to go around Saturday night.
Selena Gomez, who first appeared as the musical guest for “Saturday Night Live” in January 2016, used the opening monologue of her hosting debut to thank a few of her acting co-stars: Steve Martin — who later appeared as the happy-go-lucky creator of the whoopee cushion — Martin Short and Barney, belting out the dinosaur’s “I Love You” song with the audience.
She also called out that she’s single and ready to mingle.
“I’ve heard that ‘SNL’ is a great place to find romance,” Gomez said, listing out prior hosts who had fallen in love, from Emma Stone and Dave McCary, to Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost, to Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian.
“Since I don’t want to try the dating apps, I just want to put it out in the universe that I’m manifesting love. And at this point, I’d like to say I’m looking for my soulmate, but at this point, I would take anyone,” she said, to which several cast members, including Kyle Mooney and James Austin Johnson, volunteered to step up — even though they’re both married, as she points out.
Gomez — who took on roles including a Broadway actress in a show where no one knows their lines, one of three princesses being chosen by a prince who slew a dragon and a fast-moving morning talk show host — did have a couple of boyfriends in the sketches.
In one, she is a girlfriend in a long-term relationship, and her boyfriend “competes” on an American-adapted version of the Japanese reality show “Old Enough,” where toddlers are tasked with completing errands out in the world on their own. On the American version crafted by “SNL,” a long-term boyfriend must carry out the tasks alone.
Gomez’s character Kelsey asks her boyfriend Matt, played by Mikey Day, to do two things “all by himself. Needless to say, Matt has some trouble following the directions, and breaks down in tears as he tries to recall the right thing to get at Sephora.
He does eventually make it home in one piece, but with nothing he was supposed to have brought, drawing the expected exasperation from Kelsey.
“I’m so proud of him — but that said, I asked him to get an eyeliner pencil and two shallots, and he brought home 10 pounds of onions and a blush palette for African American women,” she sighs.
The cold open on “SNL” featured Depp, played by cast member Kyle Mooney, on the stand in his defamation trial against Heard. Depp is suing his ex-wife in Virginia, accusing her of libel for a December 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
While the article doesn’t mention Depp by name, his attorneys argue the article defames him for the highly publicized allegations Heard made when she filed for divorce in 2016. Depp says he never physically abused Heard, while Heard says she was assaulted on more than a dozen occasions.
The two actors have traded accusations from the stand in recent weeks, including Depp alleging that Heard once left feces in his bed.
In the “SNL” sketch, Depp’s lawyer plays surveillance footage imagining the discovery of the feces by hotel staff, who one after another arrive and grimace.
Judge Penny Azcarte, played by Cecily Strong, eggs on the playing of the video and line of questioning, all but pulling out a bag of popcorn as it progresses. At one point, Heard’s lawyer, played by Heidi Gardner, tries to object and asks how much of the video really needs to be played.
“We don’t have to watch any of it, but we want to — so hush,” Strong answers.
Gomez, a co-star with Martin on “Only Murders in the Building,” opened the sketch with the comedian as the host of the fictional show “American Inventors,” who was profiling Martin’s Archie Gizmo, the “inventor” of the practical joke device.
Gizmo, billed as a “prank inventor” and the “longest patent holder in history,” recounts that he had an early prototype made of the cushion, but couldn’t decide which sound it should make when someone sat down on it.
To his relief, the answer was found when he met Dina Beans, played by Aidy Bryant, who made the perfect gas sound every time she sat. Martin’s character goes on to recall how he falls in love and marries her, all while continuing to take inspiration for other physical gags stemming from her misfortune, from the electric hand buzzer to the can of nuts with snakes inside.
“She was God’s perfect fool,” Martin mused.
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