Emma Thompson is joined by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey for a hilarious take-off of “mum speak”
Anything goes in the weird and wonderful world of Saturday Night Live; and this weekend, America’s legendary stand-up show shifted up a gear with the arrival of guest host Emma Thompson.
The double Oscar-winner put her own rather British spin on proceedings as she took to the helm of SNL.
Thompson was joined by two of comedy’s finest heavyweights, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, for a sketch about motherhood (it was Mother’s Day in the States today).
In it, the trio of women decipher what your mum says versus what she actually means.
For example, when she says all she wants to do for Mother’s Day is “just to relax in the backyard, maybe a massage”, what she actually means is “How does one buy weed?”
And when she says, “you look tired” what she really means is, “you look bad” (an instantly familiar and none-too-subtle mum code that surely most of us have become wise to over the years).
What’s great about the sketch is not just the dialogue itself, but the way in which three of our favourite people effortlessly interweave and riff off one another:
Towards the end of the skit, Thompson provides the audience with a translation of “splendid”, a British mum word she says means roughly, “I’m sad. I’m happy. How are you? You embarrass me. I’m crazy. You’re drunk.”
“‘Splendid’ is sort of our ‘aloha,’” Thompson expands.
The actor’s daughter, Gaia Wise, was in the audience to watch her mum perform the opening monologue.
Elsewhere on US Mother’s Day, former US president Barack Obama paid tribute to Michelle Obama on Instagram, with a touching shout-out “to the most caring, brilliant, funny, and grounded woman I know”.
Obama herself, a vocal feminist advocate, used the occasion to highlight how we should support “girls with flames of their own — flames the world might try to dim”, in a powerful opinion piece for People magazine.