The 29-year-old singer and actress opened the iconic sketch comedy series with jokes about her dating life, a spot-on impression of her friend Miley Cyrus, and singing the Barney & Friends theme song from her childhood acting days.
“This is a big moment for me,” Gomez said after stepping onstage. “I actually started acting when I was 7, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some Hollywood icons, from Steve Martin and Martin Short and, of course, Barney.”
She then went on to crack a few jokes at the expense of her Only Murders in the Building co-stars. Gomez is gearing up for the season 2 premiere of the hit Hulu series on June 28.
“I’m so honored to work with Steve Martin and Martin Short, especially after I googled them to find out who they were,” the “Rare” singer joked. “I remember telling my friend I was cast in a show called Only Murders, and she’s like, ‘Sounds sexy, any hot co-stars?’ And I was, like, ‘Depends, do you love the banjo?’
To prepare for her first-ever SNL hosting gig, Gomez — who has appeared as a musical guest in the past — reached out to a fellow pop star Cyrus for advice. Miley, of course, has hosted the show on numerous occasions, starting in 2011.
“I also asked one of my oldest friends Miley Cyrus and she said, ‘Just be yourself and have fun,'” Gomez said, delivering a hilarious Miley impersonation. “And I was, like, ‘Miley, is that just an excuse for me to do an impression of you on the show?’ And she was, like, ‘Hell yeah, I’m Miley Cyrus.'”
Gomez also used her opening monologue to poke fun at her dating life. “One reason I’m really excited to host SNL is because I’m single. I’ve heard that SNL is a great place to find romance. Emma Stone met her husband here. Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost. Pete (Davidson) and Machine Gun Kelly,” she said. “Since I don’t really want to try the dating apps, I just want to put it out in the universe that I’m manifesting love. I would like to say that I’m looking for my soulmate, but at this point I will take anyone.”
At that point, several SNL cast members — including Kyle Mooney and James Austin Johnson — offered to take up Gomez on her dating offer. She politely declined their requests, but agreed to “see how the after-party goes” with Punkie Johnson.
Gomez closed her monologue by leading the crowd in a sing-along of the unforgettable Barney & Friends theme song. She noted earlier that Barney was the show that helped launch her acting career at the age of 7.
Post Malone later served as the show’s musical guest.