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Keegan-Michael Key Hosts ‘Saturday Night Live’

For the first time ever, a Penn Stater hosted “Saturday Night Live” — and he certainly didn’t disappoint.

Penn State icon Keegan-Michael Key made his long-awaited debut on the famed late-night sketch comedy show Saturday night. And although he didn’t bust out his legendary James Franklin impression, Key did portray an NBA icon, perform a musical number, and beat the living hell out of some Muppets.

Key strangely didn’t appear in Saturday night’s cold open, which featured Kate McKinnon’s Anthony Fauci resorting to Centers for Disease Control workers (who minored in theater performance) to explain new masking guidelines.

In his first appearance in the episode, Key burst into song (and a little dance) during his monologue, emphasizing how hosting “SNL” fulfilled a lifelong dream of his. Everything was coming up Keegan!

In his first sketch, Key portrayed high school super senior Jacob Shneeb, who provided the inside scoop as a reporter at his prom. Now in his third senior year, Shneeb proved he knew the school like no other by dishing out gossip on the proverbial red carpet.

The night’s first digital short gave viewers a look at an extended scene from ESPN’s acclaimed “The Last Dance” documentary. Portraying Michael Jordan, Key took a gambling loss personally and drove bodyguard John Michael Wozniak to the brink of insanity with just the flick of a quarter.

Next, alongside Kenan Thompson, Key played a security guard who took a harsh stance against Statler and Waldorf — the two infamous geezers who’ve heckled the Muppets for decades. Suffice to say, Key wound up pile-driving a Muppet on national television.

Boasting a totally radical SoCal accent, Key next played a rather crude DJ, aptly named “DJ Balls,” hired to perform at a celebration at a TGI Fridays. However, once the audience learned the guest of honor’s wife left him after getting vaccinated, things took a predictably awkward turn.

Following SNL’s Weekend Update segment, the next sketch brought viewers to a Kennedy Center event recognizing famed Broadway composer George Gershwin. Key played a forgetful but undeniably charismatic Broadway legend who simply could not stick to the script.

In the program’s final sketch, Key appeared as a rowdy father figure at a high school graduation. Using his trademark enthusiasm, he loudly cheered on graduates, much to the chagrin of the school’s principal.

During SNL’s traditional goodbye sendoff, Key thanked the cast and crew and said the night was more than he’d ever imagined.

“I just want to tell you, this was better than the dream,” Key said before signing off.

Perhaps he’ll be back in Studio 8H sometime next season!

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a senior majoring in journalism and Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.

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