The Disaster Artist star was taking audience questions during his monologue when he noticed Rogen, who claimed he had gotten tickets to the show and was unaware his friend was hosting this week.
Rogen then heckled Franco from his seat.
Jonah Hill and Steve Martin also made cameos as audience members.
The show took on the recent accusations of workplace sexual assault in its first skit, with a company firing two of its male employees — Doug, its CFO, and Charlie, its front-desk worker — for harassment. Doug, played by Franco, was fired from the company for commenting on his female co-workers’ outfits and telling them to smile more, and apologized to the women, who were very angry at him.
Charlie, played by Kenan Thompson, however, made comments to the women such as, “If I was 11 years younger, I’d put you in a large sack, throw you in the trunk of my Eldorado, drive you to my sister’s house with a big old medical bed, crack open the windows and show you a good ol‘ time for 28 minutes.”
“That’s my loss, Charlie,” said one of the women, played by Leslie Jones.
An exasperated Franco asked why Charlie’s comments were okay when his were not, to which the women responded, “That’s just Charlie, he’s a sweet old man.”
“It seems like you’re going easier on him because he’s an old black man and he’s done way worse stuff,” Doug responded, as the women continued to yell at him. It was revealed at the end of the skit that Charlie wasn’t even being fired for harassment, but for a variety of offenses including stealing from the company, cocaine use and pornography on the company computer.
The sexual harassment theme of the night continued with “Weekend Update,” when co-anchor Colin Jost joked, “Three members of Congress resigned this week after accusations of sexual misconduct, and you know what that means: Time to open three more doors on our sexual harassment-themed advent calendar.”
“Senator Al Franken announced his resignation this week in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, and yet Uncle Bad Touch (Roy Moore) is up four points in Alabama,” co-anchor Michael Che said while addressing Franken, who used to work at SNL. “The Democrats hold themselves to a higher standard than anyone else, which is why they always lose. It’s the same reason the Harvard football team sucks, because you also have to be a rocket scientist to play there, but to play for Alabama, you just have to spell ‘Bama.”
Continued Che, “Democrats hope that by forcing Al Franken to step down, they’re going to make themselves the party of the moral high ground. Calm down, Democrats, you’re still politicians, you’re the party of the morality in the same way that Donald Trump Jr. is the handsome Trump brother.”
Che used the Southern California wildfires to make another joke about sexual harassment, quipping, “At least four major wildfires have broken out around Los Angeles forcing the evacuation of more than 150,000 residents. The fires are the worst thing spreading in L.A. since Harvey Weinstein’s bathrobe.”
And Che brought out his neighbor, Cathy Anne (played by Cecily Strong), to comment on Franken’s resignation.
He also stepped out from behind the “Weekend Update” desk for a rare solo skit, where he lived for a day as Gretchen, a “liberal white woman.”
“I went on Yelp, I read a bunch of Huffington Post articles, I listened to the most ignorant rap music I could find, I read Lena Dunham’s book, you know, white woman stuff,” Che said. He faced “the ultimate test” at Sunday brunch with fellow white women, who discussed Meghan Markle’s recent engagement to Prince Harry and Gretchen declared, “I don’t mean no disrespect, but I just feel that the monarchy is literally the patriarchy. As a liberal white woman, I can’t support that shit.”
After a day of experiencing mansplaining, manspreading and telling men that their “masculinity is toxic,” Che said that he learned white women want what everyone wants: “equality, respect and wine in the day time with no judgment.”
In terms of sketches that didn’t deal with the ongoing wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations, Franco played a department-store gift wrapper who ended up getting blood all over customers, their gifts and the gift-wrap counter after he suffered a paper cut.
And Franco poked fun at his own career, including his troubled previous holiday release The Interview, in a family reunion sketch that also featured a cameo from brother Dave.
He additionally played a spelling bee moderator whose traumatic childhood crept into his definitions and sentences of the words kids needed to spell.
Kevin Hart will host NBC’s Saturday Night Live next week, with musical guest Foo Fighters.