“Abbott Elementary” hyphenated its brand of wholesome comedy to Studio 8H.
Quinta Brunson made her “Saturday Night Live” hosting debut last night, bringing her signature wholesome comedy to studio 8H as the beloved sketch show returned after a month-long hiatus. The “Abbott Elementary” creator and star took the stage after a whirlwind year when he won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on the hit ABC sitcom.
Early in his monologue, he mocked the fact that “Abbott Elementary” essentially made network sitcoms cool again after years of watching streaming and cable projects dominate television. While he noted that he’s happy to help revive the genre, Brunson playfully pointed out that there are still some key differences between “Abbott Elementary” and the shows that came before it.
“It’s a network sitcom, like, say, ‘Friends,'” Brunson said. “Except instead of it being a group of friends, it’s a group of teachers. Instead of New York, it’s in Philadelphia, and instead of them not being black, they are.”
Unsurprisingly, he ended his monologue by assuring the teachers of his support. Much of his show’s success came from his ability to find comedy in the dynamics of an underfunded public school and the work teachers are forced to do in order to provide an education with limited resources. He echoed similar sentiments on “SNL,” reminding the audience that the hard-working teachers he portrays can be found across America and deserve more support than they get.
“Please remember how important teachers are,” she said. “Get to know the work they do every day and for the love of God pay them the money they deserve.”
His closing remarks made similar comments he made in a 2022 interview with IndieWire, where he explained why he felt the need to build a show around teachers.
“Lisa Ann Walter, who plays Melissa on the show, said early on that everyone has (or is) a teacher, and that relationship is very reliable,” he said. “I’ve never looked at it quite like that, but it’s very true. We spend most of our lives in school and you end up spending so much time with your teachers. But I think more than anything, I prefer a grounded, human approach to my characters over comedy.”
Watch Brunson’s full “Saturday Night Live” monologue below.
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