Back when I was watching a young Michael B. Jordan on my stories — All My Children (R.I.P.) specifically — I would have never guessed he would become a full-fledged Movie Star, capital M, capital S. He was a cute kid, but, as demonstrated in the clip he included in his monologue, he wasn’t really given a lot to work with. Fortunately, casting agents saw something more in him, and after his breakthrough performance in Fruitvale Station ten years ago, followed by powerful performances in Creed and Black Panther, it’s safe to say Michael B. Jordan is a household name (and not just because he shares it with the best basketball player of all time).
It also helps that Michael B. Jordan is charming and handsome, qualities that he used to help this mediocre episode of Saturday Night Live. His charisma helped smooth out what might have been some rougher sketches, and his good looks were literally the subject of several others. I’d love to see him return, maybe with some stronger writing next time.
Aubrey Plaza is having a moment. After being best known for playing the dark and deadpan April Ludgate on Parks and Recreation, Plaza re-emerged last year as the dark and deadpan … and sexy Harper on The White Lotus. But it’s not that Plaza is typecast — she’s just playing Aubrey Plaza as evidenced by this old Today Show interview in which she discussed being a (very bad) NBC page in the early 2000s.
Yes, Plaza began her career as an NBC page (while also performing stand-up and improv at Upright Citizen’s Brigade) and even tried out for Saturday Night Live before landing the role of a lifetime on Parks and Recreation.
And so Saturday’s gig hosting SNL was a homecoming for Plaza, an opportunity to fulfill her dream of being on Saturday Night Live, and to reunite with her Parks and Rec co-star, boss and SNL alum, Amy Poehler. It was a celebration of Plaza’s growth, and (for the most part) the writers rose to the occasion, giving Plaza material that fit her dark and deadpan brand.