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SNL wishes a Happy Mother's Day to the women who put up with all your (literal) shit

Emma Thompson
Screenshot: Saturday Night Live

Emma Thompson hosted last night’s Saturday Night Live, which saw the universally respected thespian amiably willing to goof about in all manner of silly costumes and personas. (Yes, the Late Night star did don a giant teapot costume for a Beauty And The Beast parody, in case you were wondering.) Donning her predictably impeccable American accent for one Mother’s Day-themed filmed sketch, Thompson also proved herself more than happy to strip off whatever costumes were required in order to show just how much motherhood robs women of their practiced composure. And pants.

Alongside Heidi Gardner as her new-parent adult daughter, Thompson serenely and patiently accepted all of her grown daughter’s effusive praise for how composed, dignified, and thoroughly un-ruffled Thompson’s matriarch remained all through Gardner’s childhood. Cut to flashbacks of a be-wigged and de-aged young mom Thompson gasping in furious horror at her child’s finger-painted destruction of the family TV, getting a mouthful of projectile baby-vomit, and berating her neighbor for daring to notice that Thompson has taken out the trash with baby in tow. And no pants.

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Luckily for mothers and daughters everywhere, time and the necessity of remaining sane and not killing each other means wallpapering over unpleasant reality with warm platitudes and all-forgiving hugs. Gardner’s own flashbacks show her coping with her baby girl eating three—make that five—crayons, and blowing out her diaper to theretofore unimagined proportions. Call your mom.

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About the author

Dennis Perkins

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