Ed Sheeran Bounces back from COVID, Performs on Saturday Night Live with host Kieran Culkin

Ed Sheeran performed as musical guest and Succession’s Kieran Culkin returned to Saturday Night Live on Saturday, November 6. The hosting duties for Culkin occured almost 30 years to the day since his brother Macaulay hosted in November 1991.

This past week, Kieran shared a memory on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon from his time hanging around Studio 8H while his brother held hosting duties:

I remember during rehearsal day, being on the stage and I was with my mom, and Kevin Nealon walks by, and she grabs him and she goes, ‘Oh hey, you’re great. By the way, you’re my son’s favorite.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, thank you very much, that’s nice to hear.’ And I went, ‘Mom’ — cuz I’m 9, kids don’t have a filter — ‘I told you, he’s my second favorite, Dana Carvey’s my favorite.’

Kieran Culkin, November 1991

Kieran appeared in three sketches that night – “Bill Swerski’s Super Fans,” “Medieval Scalders” and as Froggy, in a flashback during the “Richmeister” sketch, seen below.

kieran culkin ed sheeran

Sheeran made his first appearance of the night as a guest on the Dionne Warwick Talk Show, with the talented Ego Nwodim playing the legendary pop singer who recently discovered Twitter. As a surprise, the Warwick appeared, just as Nwodim’s Warwick suggested she interview a true icon. After sharing “I’m not perfect, I’m just very good,” the two sang a duet of Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now.”

Sheeran was announced as musical guest for this episode back on October 23, and the next day shared a diagnosis of COVID-19 for he and his daughter, despite he being vaccinated. Sheeran was able to finish his isolation period and was cleared to perform, although he did not appear in the traditional SNL promos with Culkin.

For the first song of the night, Sheeran played “Shivers,” the second single off his new album = (pronounced “equals”), which was released just last week. There were no signs he had just been under the weather, as Sheeran didn’t miss a beat on this dance pop number.


Sheeran returned later in the show to sing the folksy “Overpass Graffiti,” fist-bumping members of his band at the end.


During the goodbyes, fulfilling his monologue wish, Culkin was hoisted by cast members Chris Redd and Keenan Thompson, flexing as he did nearly 30 years ago.

Next week, Saturday Night Life welcomes host Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country, Loki) with musical guest Taylor Swift.

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