Reese Witherspoon returned to host Saturday Night Live for the second time, marking her first time on the show in 14 years. The episode saw her playing a cat enthusiast, an aspiring talk show host and a lifeguard.
In the cold open, a DJ (Cecily Strong) introduced the audience to the various GOP candidates at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. “Ted’s hard on immigration and soft on chins,” she said about Ted Cruz (Bobby Moynihan).
Musical guest Florence + The Machine delivered a pair of soaring performances despite a recent foot injury at Coachella. Performing on a stool, the U.K. singer played new single “Ship to Wreck” and “What Kind of Man” ahead of her new album, Big How Beautiful, which arrives June 2. Watch below.
The monologue featured the castmembers apologizing to their real-life moms, including Kate McKinnon regretting that she would pretend to be Joey Buttafuoco as a child. Witherspoon’s mom appeared at the end, where she introduced home-video footage of the cast and Witherspoon as youngsters. Among the highlights was a teenage Strong playing a scene in which she had a yen for cocaine.
Witherspoon portrayed a cougar who co-hosted a new talk show called Be Scene in L.A. The hosts were clearly in over their heads, as were the inept sound engineers.
SNL took on the recent Texas shooting at a Prophet Muhammad drawing event with a game show called Picture Perfect, in which the contestants were forced into a difficult situation.
A pre-taped segment showed Witherspoon and her co-workers complaining about their boss, with one colleague having far more substantial quibbles. “You got to bang my wife live on the Internet,” the boss apparently informed his employee.
On Weekend Update, Leslie Jones offered dating advice, discussing a letter she wrote to a former flame. “I’ll be your Tom Brady and deflate your balls all day,” she offered. The segment also featured Colin Jost and Michael Che reading jokes that their moms had submitted.
Two recurring sketches were featured, including one with Witherspoon fawning over McKinnon’s cat-loving character, and another with the star sporting rainbow-colored hair for a high school theatre production.
Witherspoon played a inattentive lifeguard in need of sunscreen in one sketch, and she was a depressed housewife whose husband had been in a coma in another bit.
Three best sketches of the night:
1. Picture Perfect
2. Witherspoon’s monologue
3. Whiskers R’ We
This article originally appeared in THR.com.