Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Matt Damon, Cecily Strong
Screenshot: Saturday Night Live

On last night’s Matt Damon-hosted Saturday Night Live, there was plenty of holiday cheer to go around. Donald Trump got It’s A Wonderful Life-d. Christmas ornaments found out where you go once your tacky novelty wears off. Damon affectingly choked up during a monologue about his late dad letting young Matt stay up late—to watch SNL. But nobody crushed it like a glass ornament your cat knocked off the tree during the night like Cecily Strong, most notably in a musical sketch alongside Damon, where the perennially underrated SNL all-star channeled her inner Jan Hooks as hip-swinging, carol-singing lounge chanteuse Dianne Gellerman.

Like the long-lost third (actually fourth) singing Sweeney Sister, Strong’s (off-off-off) Broadway trouper steamrolled her way through a suspiciously Streisand-esque, galloping version of “Jingle Bells,” to the silent bafflement of her New York club audience. (And, it’s gotta be said, most of her New York TV studio audience.) But SNL Christmas episodes are the home for show biz-besotted musical misfits, and Dianne’s hammy but expert, rattling “Bells” (accompanied by ex-husband Sonny’s clomping piano and catty asides about their tumultuous former relationship) is destined for Saturday Night Live Christmas specials future. Here’s just hoping that, unlike her spiritual Sweeney forebears, music rights on “Jingle Bells” won’t keep Dianne and Sonny’s clip out of internet circulation. Does someone own “Jingle Bells?” Apart from Dianne Gellerman, that is. Good night—you’ve been a wonderful audience!


Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter