‘SNL’ Pokes Fun at Oscars Pre-Show, References Infamous Slap, Ariana DeBose’s BAFTAs Rap & More: Watch


The hilarious “SNL” cold open arrived ahead of the 95th annual Academy Awards on March 12.

“Saturday Night Live” castmembers Heidi Gardner, Marcello Hernandez and Kenan Thompson during the “Oscars Red Carpet Cold Open” on Saturday, March 11, 2023.

Will Heath/NBC

Ahead of the 2023 Academy Awards, Saturday Night Live hilariously mocked the red carpet segment of the Oscars pre-show during the iconic sketch comedy show’s cold open on March 11.

The eight-minute skit opened with SNL‘s Marcello Hernandez and Heidi Gardner portraying Access Hollywood hosts Mario Lopez and “Maria Menounos or Kit Hoover” interviewing a wide range of celebrities on the red carpet ahead of the Oscars in Hollywood.

“We are so excited to have been standing outside the Dolby Theatre for almost 153 hours,” Hernandez’s Lopez said. “But it’s all worth it to ask Angela Bassett if she really did the thing.”

After referencing Will Smith‘s infamous slap of Chris Rock during last year’s Oscars, the hosts welcomed the ceremony’s new head of security, former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson (played by Kenan Thompson).

“This year, to make sure nothing crazy happens, the Academy hired a new head of security: notoriously calm and sane person, Mike Tyson,” Gardner’s host said.

When asked about the Academy Awards’ new security measures, Thompson’s Tyson replied, “This year, all the nominees have been given tasers, all the seat fillers have been given guns and Jimmy Kimmel has been given a flamethrower.”

Next up on the red carpet was legendary actress Jamie Lee Curtis (portrayed by SNL‘s Chloe Fineman), who praised Ariana DeBose‘s show-opening musical medley at the 2023 BAFTA Awards.

“What Ariana DeBose did at the BAFTAs was fun. It was by far the best live rap performance I’ve seen all year. It was incredible,” Fineman’s Curtis said.

DeBose received backlash on social media after performing an original rap in honor of the female nominees at the Feb. 19 awards show in London. During the rap number, the West Side Story star named-checked famous actresses like Bassett, Curtis, and Viola Davis.

The 95th annual Academy Awards takes place at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater on Sunday (March 12). The show, hosted by Kimmel, airs at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.

Watch SNL‘s “Oscars Red Carpet Cold Open” skit below. For those without cable, the broadcast streams on Peacock, which you can sign up for at the link here. Having a Peacock account also gives fans access to previous SNL episodes.

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