Billie Eilish (Mostly) Nails Her ‘Saturday Night Live’ Hosting Debut

It should go without saying that hosting “Saturday Night Live” is one of the scariest roles in TV. Being a trained actor is not enough because you also have to be fun and relaxed in a high-pressure direct environment; Being a reality TV or internet celebrity is less effective training for the same reasons. And being a musician, who is usually comfortable in front of a live audience but may be less adept at comedy timing, arguably qualifies one less for the role.

For SNL host musicians, there’s also the storied precedents of natural comics like Justin Timberlake and Adele, who have a crush on hosting parties without even being a musical guest, or double-duty vets like Harry Styles, whose personal charisma can perhaps afford it through State of the Union address; Miley Cyrus (who gave a brief cameo last night); Or Chance the Rapper, who, in a would-be SNL first, nailed his comedy but failed the music. And of course there’s the gold standard, Donald Glover, who not only flaunted his massive acting chops in nearly every sitcom and nailed two songs, but dropped his own video for “This Is America.” during Display.

As if all of the above weren’t challenging enough, Billie Eilish, who turns 20 next Saturday, chose to do it during her penultimate week as a teen. And while Eilish may not be giving up her day job just yet, she has finished her first stint as a host and musical guest on SNL—to use some appropriately thin critical terms—elan and aplomb.

As an artist trained to fame as an Olympic athlete from the age of 14 and followed by film crews for over two years (for her documentary “The World’s a Little Blurry”), Eilish is no stranger to cameras, emerging as she sails through her opening monologue. It was appropriate but not overtly for self-reference – she came out with a puffy white number and called her “Mrs. Claus’ dress, highlighting the baggy clothes she was known for earlier in her career.”

“Some people wonder why I started wearing baggy clothes, and there was really a good reason. It wasn’t just for comfort or style,” she joked. is that I was actually two kids stacked on top of each other trying to sneak into an R movie.” This male also referenced what appears to be the end of the sexiest blonde look that accompanied Eilish’s latest album, “Happier Than Ever”—her hair is now dyed brown She wore casual clothes to her musical performances.

Also on topic, the Eilish family – deeply involved in their career – has made several appearances, with Mother Maggie making out during the monologue. Eilish said her dream of acting “died” when she was only nine years old – because of her mother. Noting that both of her parents were actors, she said her mother decided to make a movie about her life, and positioned herself as the mother and Billy’s older brother Phineas to her son — not a daughter. Eilish said she was joking, called her mother her “best friend” and brought her on stage – wearing a pullover that read “Mother of Phineas.”

Throughout the rest of the show, Eilish’s best looks played a part in her power. They were the best in pre-recorded skits, one of which was a hilarious holiday-themed number where she exchanges letters written through the window of an apparently closed elderly neighbor (played by Kate McKinnon) who turns out to be not only a frantic right-winger. But perhaps a psychotic cover of Smith’s play “Please Please Let Me Get What I Want”, perhaps sung by Eilish, plays in the background. In another clip, she plays a nurse dancing to a video on TikTok while a patient appears in flat lines in the background.

Although they weren’t strong in live-action comedies, the clips that failed—essentially a pair of largely incomprehensible holiday-themed skits—did so because of their overly complex concepts (“Hip-Hop Nativity”?) more from her execution.

And she got laughs on a couple of occasions, notably a skit with MacKinnon in which she portrayed staff at the most boring hotel in history.


As she did on her first appearance on the show in 2019, Eilish has named her musicals: the first, “Happier than Ever” that began introspection in a cute bedroom before withdrawing to reveal to the audience and ending in a punk rock rage, and a cooler version of “Male Fantasy”.


The family relationship continued throughout the show: Maggie appeared again, accompanied by husband Patrick, to deliver Billy’s first musical performance, and Phineas, Billy’s writer and co-producer and solo artist, performed and created both songs with her. Appearances in two representations.

Apparently, the NBC sales team wasn’t bad at looking either, with no fewer than four ads featuring Eilish or her songs appearing during the show, including three in the first half hour (one for her album, one for “The World’s a Little”). Blurry” and one for the James Bond movie “No Time to Die,” which features her lead song; there was also one of her songs in the “Sing 2” commercial later in the show).

In the context of the broader ‘SNL’, it’s fair to say that Eilish ended up ranking very high on the non-actors scale – not high enough to encourage her to quit her day job, but definitely a few steps above the “Hey they did well” as Kim’s party The last Kardashian host, and very few above have “survived” like Elon Musk.

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