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SNL is back from winter break and Ariana DeBose used her Broadway talents as host

Ariana DeBose.Jesse Grant/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios

Saturday Night Live returned from winter break Saturday night with host Ariana DeBose, whose stage presence helped her execute her jokes.

DeBose is originally from North Carolina and has starred in countless Broadway productions, including “Motown” and “Bring It on.” She has even transitioned to on-screen with Netflix’s movie “The Prom,” where she co-starred with Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, and Stephen Spielberg’s recent remake of “West Side Story.”

DeBose utilized her singing and dancing talents in the opening monologue, where she also discussed being an Afro-Latina woman landing a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Anita in “West Side Story.”

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“Obviously, Broadway has been through a lot these past couple of years, but we are a community that perseveres,” she said. “I believe Broadway changes lives. I mean, hey, it changed mine, and Broadway has this magical ability to bring people together.”

She then went on to say that everyone needs a bit of Broadway in their lives right now, and started belting out a song from “West Side Story.”

Comedian Kate McKinnon joined DeBose on stage in an entertaining duet.

SNL also did a spin-off of a promo that mocked a reboot of the ‘90s TV show “Family Matters.” . The trailer follows cast member Chris Redd through the streets of Chicago, acting as the fictional charater Steve Urkel, who was known for his catchphrase “did I do that?”

Redd then continued to spoof New York Mayor Eric Adams in another skit, while DeBose played a spokesperson for City Hall tasked with intervening if any reporters asked difficult questions. She started by saying, “I will warn you, the mayor does not like chaos; if y’all act up, I will come for you.”

Viewers also listened to the Bleachers, an American Indie pop band that performed as musical guest. Originally, Roddy Ricch was supposed to perform, but he canceled his appearance due to COVID-19 exposure.

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Next week, fans can expect Will Forte to host and Måneskin to serve as the musical guest.


Allana J. Barefield can be reached at allana.barefield@globe.com.