Billie Eilish returned to Saturday Night Live, this time as both host and musical guest. She previously played the stage in September 2019, where she performed her breakout hit, “Bad Guy.” Last night’s hosting debut makes her the first SNL host to be born in the 21st century.
The episode’s cold open featured a briefing about the Omicron variant from Anthony Fauci, played by Kate McKinnon. Cecily Strong and Chloe Fineman also appeared as Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Lauren Boebert, both armed with assault rifles. When Fauci tried to find common ground between the divided members of Congress, Taylor-Greene cocked her gun and said “We can all agree that the Fox News Christmas tree arsonist must be executed.”
During her opening monologue, Billie Eilish revealed that her mother dissuaded her from pursuing acting while encouraging her brother FINNEAS. The singer-producer sibling duo’s mother then appeared onstage, wearing a shirt that said “Finneas’ Mom.” Eilish also poked fun at her past wardrobe of baggy clothes, saying it was to hide secretly being two children on each other’s shoulders in order to get into R-rated movies.
Eilish appeared in the next sketch, where Miley Cyrus had a surprise cameo. She played herself posing for Punkie Johnson’s Christmas card, who insulted her music but threatened to call her racist if she declined a photo. As for Eilish, she played a grown-up high school bully who continued to taunt her victims through annual Christmas cards. Other sketches showed Eilish as a Christmas lounge singer, a TikToking nurse and a concierge at a lackluster hotel.
Eilish’s first song of the night was “Happier Than Ever,” the hit single off her album of the same name. Beginning as a 50s traditional pop song not unlike Julie London’s “Cry Me a River,” it builds into a cathartic rock release. The song peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, and saw nominations for both Song and Record of the Year at the 2022 Grammys.
While “Happier Than Ever” gleefully burns all bridges with its subject, the night’s second song, “Male Fantasy,” expresses some regrets. In the chorus, Eilish admits she still has feelings for him and can’t fully hate him. Both songs are back to back at the end of the album, ending it on a surprisingly hopeful note.