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Kate McKinnon on why she’s returning to host ‘Saturday Night Live’: ‘I miss wearing Giuliani teeth’ [WATCH]

For the first time since leaving the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in May 2022, Kate McKinnon is returning to NBC‘s late night sketch comedy series … only this time as a host. The “Barbie” scene-stealer will headline this weekend’s December 16 episode with musical guest Billie Eilish. In a new “SNL” promo video (watch above), McKinnon wishes upon the Christmas tree at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City that she’ll be this week’s host, and her dream comes true.

“Hey, tree. What’s up? I haven’t seen you in a while,” McKinnon declares while donning winter clothes and a beanie hat. “I know you’re probably fielding a lot of Christmas wishes right now, but I’d like to add one myself, if that’s okay. I’d really love to host ‘SNL’ this week with musical guest Billie Eilish.”

The comedian, who won two supporting actress Emmy Awards in 2016 and 2017, continues on, “I know, I know, it’s a big ask, but hear me out. I have been very thoroughly cleaning my cat food cans before I recycle them. I was in ‘Barbie’ — I played the hot one. But mostly, I want to host ’cause I really miss it.”

SEE ‘SNL’: Longest-running cast members ever on ‘Saturday Night Live’

McKinnon gets sentimental as she recalls, “I miss the stage, and I miss Lorne [Michaels]. I miss wearing [Rudy] Giuliani teeth.” She sighs, adding, “So if you could see it in your little tree heart to grant your old friend Kate this one wish, I would be –“

She is interrupted by longtime cast member Kenan Thompson, who shouts to her from the 30 Rock entrance. “Kate! We’re waiting for you so we can start rehearsing … for the show that you’re hosting this week,” he instructs her.

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“Whoa, it worked,” McKinnon exclaims. “It actually f***ing worked!” The gathering crowd cheers for her as she enters the building. When Thompson wonders how no one told her that she was hosting, she replies, “Oh, I wouldn’t know. I dropped my phone in the toilet in September.”

Besides Thompson, other cast members who will be reuniting with McKinnon are Michael Che, Mikey Day, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, James Austin Johnson, Punkie Johnson, Colin Jost, Ego Nwodim, Sarah Sherman and Bowen Yang. Newbies who have arrived since her departure include Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow, Chloe Troast and Devon Walker.

Here are the “Saturday Night Live” Season 49 hosts and musical guests so far:

#4901 — Pete Davidson / Ice Spice — October 14, 2023

#4902 — Bad Bunny / Bad Bunny — October 21, 2023

#4903 — Nate Bargatze / Foo Fighters — October 28, 2023

#4904 — Timothée Chalamet / Boygenius — November 11, 2023

#4905 — Jason Momoa / Tate McRae — November 18, 2023

#4906 — Emma Stone / Noah Kahan — December 2, 2023

#4907 — Adam Driver / Olivia Rodrigo — December 9, 2023

#4908 — Kate McKinnon / Billie Eilish — December 16, 2023

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