SNL recap: Paul Rudd toasts Saturday Night Live in season 44 finale with musical guest DJ Khaled

Mary Sollosi
Paul Rudd hosts SNL season 44 finale with DJ Khaled

Saturday Night Live’s 44th season is in the endgame now, so they called on Ant-Man himself to host the season finale. Paul Rudd was on hand to emcee the big show, for which DJ Khaled served as musical guest. Read on for a recap of the show’s highlights — we’ll be updating live as the show goes on:

Cold Open

The Bohemian Rhapsody-inspired Queenaissance is apparently still in full swing, because the cold open featured Alec Baldwin’s POTUS with the rest of the SNL White House singing a Trump-ified version of “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

“I’m on cruise control to a second term, and there’s nothing the Democrats in Congress can do about it,” a smarmy Baldwin told the audience. “So sit back and enjoy the ride, America, because tonight — well, tonight…”

He’s gonna have himself a real good time, as Cecily Strong’s Melania Trump, Beck Bennett’s Mike Pence, Aidy Bryant’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined him to sing. (Sample lyrics: “He’s throwing stones and he lives in a big glass house / He’s cheated on every spouse!” Melania belted before Pence chimed in, “I wanna make a Chik-Fil-A man outta you!”)

Also joining in were Kate McKinnon’s air-guitar-playing Rudy Giuliani, Beck Bennett’s Vladimir Putin, Chris Redd’s MAGA hat-wearing Kanye, and Kenan Thompson’s Clarence Thomas (“We got the votes now / Women are screwed!”), their singalong was interrupted by Robert De Niro’s Robert Mueller, who had a very important message for the American people — but no time for that! The gang finished up their song with the first Game of Thrones joke (of many) of the night, a tease to keep watching to see who stays alive. “Spoiler: I live,” McKinnon said creepily. “For another 150 years. And the iron throne will be mine.”

Monologue

Rudd stepped up to his fourth turn as host knowing how the gig worked. “What I’ve learned is that these monologues — they should be a little funny, but they should also be heartfelt. Sort of like a best man’s speech at a wedding,” he explained. “And tonight, I’d like to be your best man.”

After getting a glass of champagne, Rudd launched into a speech celebrating his old pal, Saturday Night Live. “I first officially met SNL in 2008. I was like, this guy’s crazy! You were doing sketches about some guy named Barack, and I hadn’t done a Marvel movie yet, so I was still treating people pretty well.”

After reminiscing that “you and I used to kind of make out” (with photographic evidence), he shared a totally very real memory of meeting Lorne Michaels on the day of the very first episode of SNL. “I said, ‘Sir, one day, I’ll be hosting your show.’ And he said, ‘Guards, do your worst,’” Rudd recalled fondly. “After all these years, I knew we’d be there for each other. Whenever you needed a host and I needed to promote a movie.”