Former “Saturday Night Live” castmember Maya Rudolph made a triumphant return to the “SNL” stage this weekend – this time as host — and while the actress’ signature Whitney Houston impression was appropriately absent, among the many side-splitting sketches was a tribute to Beyonce and Jay-Z.
Maya donned her best Beyonce wig and sparkling mini-dress for the skit, with Jay-Z (Jay Pharoah) by her side, as various celebrity guests dropped by their New York home to meet the couple’s newborn daughter.
First up? Prince (Fred Armisen), whose dramatic entrance was announced by “White Butler” (Andy Samberg). He gave the couple “a smirk” as a gift for Blue Ivy.
Next up was LL Cool J (Kenan Thompson), who wore his “formal Kangol” topper to in honor of the “special occasion.”
Beyonce explained her birthing experience to LL through (what else?) song, saying she asked the doctor, “Did I have a boy?” (to the tune of her hit ballad “If I Was A Boy”), but the doctor said, “No, you had a single lady.”
Nicki Minaj (Nasim Pedrad) delivered a jarring rap lullaby for Blue (scaring Prince, who hid behind the bassinet), while Brad Pitt (Taran Killam) and Angelina Jolie (Abbey Elliot) arrived after being tipped off by the “tingling” of Angelina’s “baby sense.”
Taylor Swift (Kristen Wiig) dropped by, excitedly walking through the room looking shocked and surprised while never uttering a word.
The final guest drew rousing cheers from the “SNL” audience, as Justin Timberlake made a surprise appearance as Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.
Complete with a wispy receding hairline, the singer said, “Sorry I’m late… whatever. I was just wandering barefoot in the woods of Wisconsin. I fashioned this guitar out of a canoe and I wrote a song for your baby.”
“But Bon Iver, we were just about to put our baby to sleep!” Maya’s Beyonce exclaimed.
“Trust me, this will help,” JT’s Justin said, before launching into a song.
B & J weren’t quite sure what to think of the Bon Iver sleepy ballad, but did note that “White Butler” was “really into it,” before the musician put himself to sleep with his own music.
“SNL” alum Amy Poehler also made a surprised appearance in the episode, returning for “Bronx Beat” with Maya, where Justin and Andy Samberg joined the two ladies during the hilarious talk show sketch.
-- Erin O’Sullivan