'SNL' Pokes Fun at Morgan Wallen Controversy in Christmas-Filled Episode

Pete Davidson, musical guest Morgan Wallen, host Jason Bateman as future Morgan, and Bowen Yang as future Morgan during the 'SNL' "Morgan Wallen Party" sketch
Will Heath/NBC

Holiday sketches included a parody of Eminem's "Stan" directed at Santa.

Jason Bateman hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time since his 2005 appearance on the show. The episode marked the show’s first after a nearly month-long hiatus and included several holiday sketches.

In a meta move, the episode poked fun at Morgan Wallen’s controversy from earlier in the season, when he was last-minute replaced as musical guest after photos leaked of him partying and not following the show’s strict COVID-19 safety rules. Wallen, who was eventually asked back as the musical guest for this Bateman-led episode, appeared as himself. He was visited by ghosts of his future selves warning him not to party, played by Bateman and Yang.

"They’re going to have you on in two months from now. There aren’t many people willing to fly to New York right now," Pete Davidson assured Wallen in the sketch.

The holiday sketches continued throughout the episode, which is the first of three December episodes set to air. In a Christmas-themed music video, Davidson played a man writing to Santa—played by Bateman—asking for a PS5. The song parodied "Stan" by Eminem, with Davidson doing Eminem’s part and McKinnon being Dido. Bowen Yang also made an appearance as Elton John, who performed a duet of the song with Eminem at the 2001 Grammys.

Yang starred in another holiday-themed sketch about an outdoor cabaret. Bateman played the piano player, who took digs at the hosts for not taking pandemic safety more seriously.

In a very realistic sketch called The Christmas Conversation, a bunch of characters told their mothers that they didn’t feel like they could safely come home for the holiday due to the pandemic. The mothers then passive-aggressively guilted their daughters for not coming home. The sketch ended with a sincere message: "Someday soon we will all be together. Stay safe, SNL."