Jenna Ortega Serves Comedy Gold With ‘SNL’ Hosting Debut


| LAST UPDATE 03/15/2023

By Riley Hammond
Jenna Ortega SNL debut
Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff via Getty Images

Jenna Ortega made her debut as a Saturday Night Live host, and she proved to be the perfect muse for SNL's writers. Last year, The Hollywood Reporter named her the "next big thing," and with that meteoric rise, she became the youngest first-timer of this season at just 18 years old. Even at such a young age, Ortega has already over a decade of experience in show business, and it showed through her versatility, commitment, and poise while hosting this inspirational sketch show.

Similar to last week, SNL pushed boundaries by embracing even more provocative and dark content which Ortega's unique persona blended seamlessly with. Whatever their idea was - it sure worked; everyone was talking about the episode! From simple skits filled with relatability to complex sketches that showcased Ortega's creativity and acting abilities - each one was met with rave reviews from fans around the world. The best sketch of the night was easily 'Please Don't Destroy - Road Trip', where an exhausted Jenna played opposite three comics on a road trip gone wrong. Through witty dialogue, lighthearted musical interludes (which were unfortunately later replaced by moments of passive aggression), and juxtaposition between dreams of a perfect holiday on the open road versus its harsh realities; this sketch was Jean-Paul Satre's take on 'No Exit' brought to life within a four-door metal box!

Jenna Ortega SNL host
Instagram via @jennaortega
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Another noteworthy mention has to go out to 'Waffle House,' inspired by a viral video of an employee catching an airborne chair. This skit saw Ortega playing opposite Marcello Hernandez, perfectly balancing between two planes of action: a WB teen drama combined with the chaos inside Waffle House at night (if you're familiar, you know). With amazing self-control from both actors that prevented them from getting pulled into everything happening behind them – culminating in an unexpected twist involving Jenna's character's father -this combination proved great comedic harmony wrapped up in outstanding performance and staging!

It goes without saying, but MVP for the night goes out to Jenna Ortega for sheer excellence across all sketches she took part in! Each piece felt tailor-made for her star power blending innocence with darkness and ending her journey full circle with a great monologue deliverance. Her commitment towards each particular character is where she shone brightest and proved that comedy should always be taken seriously – rooted firmly in reality through every character acted out by someone as talented as Ms.Ortega!

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