fb-pixel Skip to main content

Aubrey Plaza, Amy Poehler reprise ‘Parks and Recreation’ roles on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Aubrey Plaza attends the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on Jan. 15 in Los Angeles, California.Frazer Harrison/Getty

On Jan. 21, “Saturday Night Live” returned from the holiday break with first-time host Aubrey Plaza, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the second season of “The White Lotus.” UK crooner Sam Smith, currently on the airwaves with the single “Unholy” ahead of their fourth album release, was the night’s musical guest. Click the video embeds below to watch some of the highlights from Saturday’s show.

In the cold open, a panel of Fox Sports analysts (Kenan Thompson, Mikey Day, James Austin Johnson, Devon Walker, Molly Kearney) interview a new, very accomplished sideline reporter — Representative George Santos (Bowen Yang) — who was definitely playing in that night’s Eagles-Giants game.


Plaza may be known for her quirky and deadpan delivery, but in her monologue she swears her childhood in Delaware was completely normal. The most famous person from the state — sorry, President Biden — was also once an NBC page. Plaza reminisced about her questionable work ethic while taking the audience on a tour of Studio 8H, and bumped into an old friend from her days on “Parks and Recreation,” “SNL” alum Amy Poehler.

On to some of the skits

Plaza and Poehler reprised their roles as April Ludgate and Leslie Knope on “Weekend Update” to discuss working for local government based on their experiences in Pawnee, Indiana. According to Ludgate, municipal engagement is as simple as driving a bus since no one cares if you’re on time anyway. Knope was on hand to handle the harder questions, but really wanted to pick Colin Jost’s brain instead.

A group of energetic contestants (Plaza, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, Punkie Johnson, Sarah Sherman, Kearney) took the stage at the Miss Universe competition. The Property Brothers (Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott) and Tony Hawk judged the pageant.

In “The Black Lotus,” wealthy guests found little sympathy for their shenanigans as staff members of an exclusive resort (Plaza, Kenan Thompson, Nwodim, Johnson) simply refused to put up with them.


The performances

Smith sang “Unholy,” accompanied by Kim Petras, who popped out from their skirt.

Smith also performed “Gloria,” backed by a choir as they serenaded Sharon Stone.