On ‘SNL,’ Peyton Manning loves ‘Emily in Paris’ and Katy Perry dances with mushrooms

Katy Perry, left, Willem Dafoe and Chris Redd standing on the 'Saturday Night Live' stage
Musical guest Katy Perry, left, host Willem Dafoe and cast member Chris Redd on the set of “Saturday Night Live.”
(Rosalind O’Connor / NBC)

Pop star Katy Perry and football legend Peyton Manning stole the show during this weekend’s episode of “Saturday Night Live.”

Hosted by veteran actor Willem Dafoe, the latest installment of the sketch comedy series featured two elaborately designed performances from musical guest Perry, as well as a surprise “Weekend Update” appearance from football legend Manning — who is apparently a huge fan of Netflix’s “Emily in Paris.”

As usual, the writers of this week’s material worked in plenty of topical gags involving, but not limited to, Russia’s potential plans to invade Ukraine, Peloton’s mounting TV cameos and Neil Young’s recent stand against Spotify.


Here’s a sampling of highlights from the show.

Cold open lampoons Russia, Spotify and Aaron Rodgers

The cold open of Saturday’s episode saw White House officials (played by Kenan Thompson, Alex Moffat and Ego Nwodim) attempt to warn President Biden (James Austin Johnson) about Russia’s alleged disinformation campaign in Ukraine.

“Mr. President, the situation in Ukraine is growing tenser by the hour,” Thompson said. “Putin has amassed over 100,000 troops at the border.”

“We’re even getting some reports that Russia has already invaded,” Nwodim added, “but those are from the same people who said Tom Brady retired. So take it with a grain of salt.”

Spotify paid millions to lure Joe Rogan but now faces pressure from more than 200 doctors to hold him to account for spreading misinformation about COVID vaccines on his podcast.

Jan. 26, 2022

To underscore the severity of the threat, they put together a slideshow of pro-Russia propaganda, such as TikTok videos glamorizing the possible invasion of Ukraine; a commercial featuring NFL player Rodgers (Pete Davidson) praising Russia as a “good neighbor” and a fake headline that reads, “Neil Young to remove music from Spotify unless Ukraine surrenders.”

Dafoe defends his ‘expressive face’


In his opening monologue, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” star Dafoe defended himself against critics who consider his acting style “over the top.”

“One man’s over the top is another man’s engaged performance,” Dafoe contended. “I can’t help that I have an expressive face. I can’t control it. I don’t think about controlling it. I’m not one of those subtle actors like Nicolas Cage or Al Pacino.”

The cast and creatives of Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ discuss spoilers, returning villains and the Marvel multiverse at the film’s premiere.

Dec. 14, 2021

Throughout his illustrious career, Dafoe has often been cast in unhinged, villainous roles, such as Max Schreck in “Shadow of a Vampire,” Bobby Peru in “Wild at Heart” and of course, Green Goblin in the “Spider-Man” franchise.

“Maybe that’s why people come up to me and say, ‘You know what role you’d be perfect for? The Joker,’” Dafoe quipped during his set. “Always nice to hear that you get the vibe of a sociopath.”

Katy Perry goes full Katy Perry

Pop musician Perry has earned a reputation for peppering her performances with bizarre set designs and wacky costumes. (Remember Left Shark from the 2015 Super Bowl?) Her latest “SNL” appearance was no different.


Just try to focus on the empowering lyrics of Perry’s “When I’m Gone” while watching the singer navigate a forest of dancing phallic toadstools. Yes, you read that correctly.

Manning fangirls over ‘Emily in Paris’

Saturday’s “Weekend Update” segment tapped NFL hall-of-famer Manning to comment on the playoff season leading up to the 2022 Super Bowl at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium.

But — to “Weekend Update” co-anchor Colin Jost’s bewilderment — all Manning wanted to talk about was binge-watching the second season of the hit Netflix series “Emily in Paris,” starring Lily Collins.

Senior ringarde editor Matt Brennan and chief ringarde correspondent Yvonne Villarreal discuss the return of the Netflix comedy it’s un peu fun to hate.

Dec. 22, 2021

“So you didn’t watch any of the games?” a confused Jost asked Manning.

“Well, I planned to, but I had an hour to kill before the first game, and just for fun, I put on the first episode of ‘Emily in Paris’ Season 2, and I watched the entire season straight through,” Manning said with deadpan delivery.

“Oh my God, Colin. This show has everything. Adventure, sensuality, culture, a fresh take on feminism — finally. Not to mention a culinary tapestry so rich, I can only describe it as food porn.”

Jost makes fun of Peloton’s PR crisis


“Emily in Paris” wasn’t the only TV show to get a shout-out during the “Weekend Update” broadcast.

While summarizing the week in headlines, Jost took a dig at Peloton, the exercise equipment company that has recently weathered not just one, but two unflattering portrayals on the small screen — in HBO’s “Sex and the City” reboot “And Just Like That...” and Showtime’s “Billions.”

“Peloton is concerned after the TV show ‘Billions’ became the second series in recent weeks to show a character having a heart attack while using their exercise bike,” Jost said.

“And they’re extremely worried about how they factor into Season 2 of ‘Squid Game.’”