Taraji P. Henson, who became the 10th black woman to host Saturday Night Live, brought fire to the set with her portrayal of Empire’s Cookie Lyon.
In the best sketch of the night, Cookie, dressed to the nines and sporting her trademark purple fur stole, hit up Sesame Street, talking trash and stealing, well, cookies.
She shut down Mr. Snuffleupagus, saying, “You need to stop rappin’ like you from the streets, ’cause you not about that life!”
When Cookie Monster offers to share a chocolate-chip cookie with her, she grabs it and explains, “No, baby, Cookie don’t share.” She proceeds to gobble it up, leaving a trail of crumbs.
The priceless Sesame Street sketch was by far the best of the evening, where Henson also spoofed Nicki Minaj. Henson sang in her opening monologue, where she knocked white America for finally recognizing her after 20 years in show business.
“White people finally know who I am!” she exclaimed.
Indeed, hosting SNL was a great feat for Henson. According to Fusion, though the show “has welcomed more than 500 hosts since its 1975 premiere, only nine—two percent—have been black women. Compare that to 311 white men (59 percent of hosts), 154 white women (29 percent), and 41 black men (8 percent).”
Mumford & Sons were the live musical guests for the evening.