Issa Rae[Starts with SNL monologue intro] [Cut to SNL stage] [Band is playing music]
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, Issa Rae.[Issa Rae walks in and to the stage] [cheers and applause]
Issa Rae: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so, so much. This is incredible. It’s so crazy to be here right now. I cannot believe it that I’m hosting Saturday Night Live, y’all. I can’t believe I just walked down the stairs, the same stairs as the comedy legends like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and Molly Shannon. Like, my family, all of our inside jokes are from SNL. This is incredible. And actually, I’m so scared right now. I’m scared as hell. I’m not going to lie. I might throw up. But I’m going to hold it down because I’m the first black to host SNL. [cheers and applause] Wait, that’s actually not true. Y’all really clap quick. What if I just kept lying to y’all all night and y’all wouldn’t even notice. But if this show goes bad tonight, just blame it on me, Mary J. Blige. I was actually supposed to host this show back in March when I had two movies and season four of my show ‘Insecure’ coming out. [cheers and applause] Thank you. But now I’m here and there really is no reason. I have nothing going on at all. People keep asking me, “What have you been working on? And I’m like, “Um, puzzles, bitch. I don’t know. What have you been working on, since you all in my business?”
But my show premiered exactly four years ago this month right before the last election. Yes. It was crazy because the results came in and of course everyone was freaking out. I was freaking out. It just felt really awkward from my life to be going so good, like, it was rude for me to be peaking right when democracy was collapsing. It’s just weird to say, “Thank god for what happened in the fall of 2016.”
When I first got a TV show, I thought everything would feel so different, but it really just felt like high school. The show was kind of based on a web series I did back in the day called “The misadventures of an awkward black girl.” You know what it is. Honestly, that’s how I felt all the time. Just awkward and black. I felt like a freshman that first year. And I see all the clicks and the cool girls. I wanted to be friends with them. I even dealt with bullies some times which you guys know as Twitter. Twitter can be so scary. Sometimes, being dragged in social media feels like a low stakes horror movie where when you’re on it, it feels like, [squeaky voice] “Oh my god, ah! They’re coming for me. What am I going to do?” And then your battery dies and then you’re like, “Oh, guess I’ll just go outside.”
Now, I’m in my senior year and I felt like I learned a lot. I learned how to do the “Oh my god, hey.” That’s when you see someone at a Hollywood event and you have four seconds to remember their name, so you buy a little time by starting with, “Oh my god, hey. Look at you.” And if they call me out on it like, “Come on, Issa. You know me.” I just go, “Excuse me. I’m Mary J. Blige, racist.”
But if doing my show for the last four years is like high school, then hosting SNL is my prom and you guys are all my dates. [cheers and applause] And I’m ready to go all the way. We got a great show for you guys. Justin Bieber is here. So, stick around and we’ll be right back.