10:26pm PT by Allison Crist
Tina Fey Navigates Star-Studded Audience in 'SNL' Hosting Return
Tina Fey returned to NBC's Saturday Night Live over the weekend for the season 43 finale to host for her sixth time, joined by musical guest Nicki Minaj. Fey left the show in 2006, but during her tenure, she served as a head writer, castmember and "Weekend Update" co-anchor before going on to create, star in and run the NBC comedy 30 Rock.
During her monologue, Fey took questions from the audience — which included Jerry Seinfeld, ironically asking if the show has too many celebrity cameos. The question was, of course, followed by a slew of celebrity cameos. Among the stars in the audience taking up Fey's offer were Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Rock, Fred Armisen, Anne Hathaway and Donald Glover — who was simply looking for his hat he said he left after his own hosting gig earlier in the month.
Fey's former 30 Rock co-star Tracy Morgan was also in attendance and joined her onstage. "If you thought I was going to forget to surprise you on your birthday, you are craazy!" Morgan told Fey before wishing her a happy birthday — though it actually turned out to be the day before.
Regardless, Morgan told Fey if "her man" wasn't making her feel special, he would. "If your man ain't givin' you what you need today, I will!" he continued.
Fey tried to remind Morgan he's actually friends with her husband, but Morgan said it didn't matter because it's her birthday, meaning "all bets are off."
The cameos continued throughout the show. Lin-Manuel Miranda made an appearance in a satirical behind-the-scenes look at Fey's new Broadway musical Mean Girls. Numerous SNL castmembers and even Lorne Michaels himself were seen snubbing Fey and the musical. "Can you just leave me out of this?" a disgruntled Miranda said.
Fey the underwent training to actually star in the musical, though her dancing, singing and impressions of the characters didn't appear to impress those around her.
"Maybe it's okay if I can't be like Lin-Manuel and jam myself into my show whether people like it or not," Fey said. Miranda responded by putting her in his Mean Girls-esque Burn Book, rapping the entry à la Hamilton.
In another sketch, Fey spoofed the former NBC reality series To Catch a Predator with Pervert Hunters. The premise is the same — filming the confrontation and arrests of men caught soliciting sex from underage decoys online — but when the host (Fey) of this version messes up her lines, viewers get a whole new look at the show.
"What's in the bag?" Fey's Chris Hansen-like character asked while confronting the caught pervert, played by Beck Bennett. "Looks like beer, condoms and — what's this? Cookies? I wonder if they serve jookies in cail."
"Cut!" the show's director (Mikey Day) yelled, clearly confusing the criminal.
"I made a mistake! I won't do it again! Please," he said, realizing he's caught — only for Day's character to compliment his emotionial response and have him repeat the plea in another take.
The bit continued poking fun at the production side of the show, with the pervert even getting makeup and testing different lines. It, of course, ended with him being arrested despite the group's fun banter.
Fey wrapped the show — and the season — with a sketch as Melissa Villasenor's over-enthusiastic mom.