Selena Gomez Joins Steve Martin and Martin Short's Holiday-Infused 'SNL' Episode

The Dec. 10 episode isn't the last for 2022, but it still served up many holiday sketches.
by Danielle Turchiano — 

From left to right: Steve Martin, Selena Gomez, and Martin Short


The Dec. 10 episode of Saturday Night Live didn't seem like it would be the official holiday episode — after all, the show is going to be new again on Dec. 17 with Austin Butler hosting and Lizzo serving as the musical guest — but it was still heavy on the end-of-year celebration. 

Things kicked off with an original holiday tune in which cast members Bowen YangCecily StrongKenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, and Sarah Sherman sang about stressful things they would be pushing out of their mind until January. (This included Elon Musk, who famously hosted an episode of the NBC late-night sketch comedy show last season.)

Both men appeared on SNL many more times throughout the years, though, as Short was a cast member in the 1980s and Martin has popped in and out from time to time, notably inducting other members into the "Five-Timers Club." They even appeared together in the past, again, notably for those "Five-Timers Club" sketches, including Justin Timberlake's in 2013 and via a pre-recorded message during Paul Rudd's COVID-interrupted episode in 2021

Brandi Carlile was the musical guest in the Dec. 10 episode, singing "The Story" off her 2007 album of the same title and "You and Me on the Rock" from 2021's In These Silent Days.

Below, take a look at the rest of the holiday sketches from the episode, plus one very special revival.

The holiday train

The next musical moment of the episode once again featured Thompson and Strong, but this time they were joined by Martin and Short. Set on a train car heading to Buffalo, N.Y. which is supposed to be the best place to see snow, Martin, Short, and Strong's characters were so excited to hopefully finally see snow in person — so excited, in fact, she commented on wanting to wipe her butt with it. Thompson was a businessman they met along the way, but they got him into the spirit, too. Unfortunately, only he would see the snow in the end, though, as the other three were secretly bears that needed a bit of magic in order to make their dream come true. This is one sketch that you really have to see to fully understand.

Santa and Pringles prepare for the holidays

Martin donned the big red suit to play Santa, while Short slid on stage on his knees in a green elf costume for a sketch in which they were supposed to be hearing kids' greatest Christmas wishes, but in which Short's character Pringles kept cutting things off. 

"It's too much, he can't do it," he said. 

Will Ferrell's Buddy the Elf, he certainly was not; Pringles was disgruntled and grumpy, and more in line tonally with Bad Santa

"Get a job!" he bellowed at an ask for Taylor Swift tickets.

He even brought Santa himself over to the dark side. Because Santa wouldn't hear Pringles' concerns about not being able to get all the presents, he had to make a dark deal to get it done. There would be no Christmas magic used this time, but hopefully, there would be speed procured.

Thankfully, though, no kids' dreams were dashed in this episode (they were all played by SNL cast members, including Chloe FinemanAndre Dismukes, Nwodim, and Sherman).

'A Christmas Carol' Apple Pay ad

If you thought Charles Dickens' classic tale ended just a bit too easily, SNL has the sketch for you. Short played the wealthy curmudgeon who had his life changed by three ghosts on Christmas night, and the action picked up right when he woke up from that encounter and decided to change. But that was easier said than done because when he tossed coins down to a passing townsperson (played by Sherman), the coins ended up lodged in the orphan's eyes, and he was accused of blinding them for sport. One of the coins even harmed Tiny Tim himself. Martin revisited him as one of the ghosts and unfortunately repeated the pattern, despite tossing the coin in a different way. Needless to say, throwing ice down for the wound made things much, much worse. The tag at the end showed it was all in service of Apple Pay, with the fictional ad concluding, "never use coins again."

Holiday tips from a chaotic shopper

Nwodim joined Michael Che and Colin Jost at the "Weekend Update" desk to play Mary Anne Louise Fischer, who Che called "the most chaotic holiday shopper." While not technically a sketch, the character certainly has potential to recur in that way later due to her descriptions of leaving "every single Ross" trashed alone. One of 27 children, she has no time to be neat and organized when blowing through stores looking for presents, but moreover, she wants to mess things up for "power."

"I need to leave my mark," she said. "And sometimes to find that one perfect shirt you have to unfold 40."

She then provided her holiday tips, which included wearing a fake neck brace so people would get out of her way, and showed off her best holiday deals — as well as how she got them. The most important tip? "Be Black" because if you're white and you act like this, someone will take a video, and you will lose your job."

'Father of the Bride' revival

Martin and Short starred in the 1990s Father of the Bride film franchise, and since the two were hosting the episode together, SNL decided to have a little fun with it by introducing a trailer for the eighth film, in which Annie Banks (played here by Heidi Gardner) was getting married again. And yes, the "eight" is because it's her eighth marriage. 

Of course, that meant Martin and Short reprised their original roles of George Banks and Franck Eggelhoffer, respectively, while Fineman played Diane Keaton playing Nina Banks, and Yang played Hans' assistant Howard Weinstein. (And also yes, Franck still had his accent, which the voice-over said we should just agree is OK.) But they also got a special guest appearance by Kieran Culkin, playing a very grown up Matty Banks.

If you remember the original film, George couldn't stop obsessing about the cost of the wedding, and things have escalated enormously in the 30 years since the original one was released. Now Franck was suggesting such things as vaginal rejuvenation for the bride, and Gomez appeared as herself, with a quote of $1.8 million to be the wedding singer.

Saturday Night Live airs at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT Saturdays on NBC.