Anya Taylor-Joy Welcomes ‘SNL’s First Full Audience Since Beginning Of Pandemic In Opening Monologue

Anya Taylor-Joy on 'SNL'
NBC via YouTube

Tonight, The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy made her first appearance as host of Saturday Night Live, welcoming the first live audience the show has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Goodness, it is such an honor to be here, hosting the season finale of Saturday Night Live,” she said, “and this show is even more special because it’s the first time this year we have a completely full audience, fully vaccinated.”

For those in the room who were a bit nervous about sitting so close to another person, the actor invoked a classic piece of advice: Just picture them naked.

“Wait, just kidding,” she said. “We’ve all been inside for a year; everybody’s already picturing everyone naked.”

The actress went on to share a few interesting facts about herself. “Now that you’re hearing my accent, you may be surprised to know I was born in Miami, raised between Argentina and London, and my first language is Spanish,” she said. “So legally, my ethnicity is Fashion Week.”

She then turned to discussion of her immensely popular Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit. “For those of you who didn’t see it, what were you doing all of quarantine?” she joked. “It was Tiger King and The Queen’s Gambit; that was the only new TV for like months.”

“I’m happy to say that after watching the show, millions of people bought chess sets,” Taylor-Joy continued, alluding to the drama in which she played chess prodigy Beth Harmon. “Dozens of them actually learned how to play.”

After offering up a few choice chess pointers, Taylor-Joy asked her audience a question. “Before we begin, it would mean the world to me to start the show in my native language,” she said. “You guys don’t mind, do you?”

She then did the traditional monologue sign-off, welcoming first-time musical guest Lil Nas X in Spanish.

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