Quinta Brunson Advocates for Teachers, Mocks Friends in SNL Monologue

Quinta Brunson made her “Saturday Night Live” hosting debut last night, bringing her signature brand of wholesome comedy to studio 8H as the beloved sketch show returned from a month-long hiatus. The “Abbott Elementary” creator and star took the stage after a whirlwind of a year that saw her win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her work on the hit ABC sitcom.

Early in her monologue, she poked fun at the fact that “Abbott Elementary” has essentially made network sitcoms cool again after years of watching streaming and cable projects dominate the television landscape. While she noted that she’s happy to help the genre have a resurgence, Brunson playfully pointed out that there are still a few key differences between “Abbott Elementary” and the shows that preceded it.

“It’s a network sitcom like, say, ‘Friends,’” Brunson said. “Except, instead of being about a group of friends, it’s about a group of teachers. Instead of New York, it’s in Philadelphia and instead of not having Black people, it does.”

Unsurprisingly, she wrapped up her monologue by showing support for teachers. Much of her show’s success has come from its ability to find comedy in the dynamics of an underfunded public school and the work that teachers are forced to do in order to provide an education with limited resources. She voiced similar sentiments on “SNL,” reminding audiences that the kind of hard-working teachers that her show portrays can be found all around America and deserve more support than they get.

“Please, remember how important teachers are,” she said. “Acknowledge the work they do every day and for the love of God, pay them the money they deserve.”

Her closing remarks echoed similar comments she made in a 2022 interview with IndieWire, where she explained why she felt compelled to build a show around teachers.

“Lisa Ann Walter, who plays Melissa on the show, said early on [that] everyone’s either had a teacher [or] is a teacher and that relationship is really reliable,” she said. “I never quite looked at it that way, but that’s very true. We spend so much of our lives in school, and ultimately you spend so much time with your teachers. But what I think, more than anything, is when it comes to comedy I prefer to have a grounded, human approach with my characters.”

Watch Brunson’s full “Saturday Night Live” monologue below.

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