“After watching the show millions of people bought chess sets, and dozens of them actually learned how to play,” quipped the star of the hit Netflix chess drama.
Anya Taylor-Joy hosted the season finale of Saturday Night Live tonight (22 May), joking in her opening monologue about the fans of her Netflix chess drama The Queen’s Gambit who went on to pick up the game for themselves.
“I’m happy to say that after watching the show millions of people bought chess sets, and dozens of them actually learned how to play,” quipped the actor.
She also questioned how anybody in the audience could have failed to see the hit Netflix series, asking: “For those of you who didn’t see it: What were you doing all quarantine? It was Tiger King and Queen’s Gambit, that was the only new TV for, like, months.”
Earlier in the monologue, Taylor-Joy pointed out that the Saturday Night Live crowd was the first of the year to be: “a completely full audience, fully-vaccinated.”
“If you’re feeling nervous sitting so close to another person just picture them naked,” she suggested. “Just kidding, we’ve all been inside for a year, everybody’s already picturing everyone naked.”
In reference to her distinct British accent, Taylor-Joy said: “Now that you’re hearing my accent, you may be surprised to know I was born in Miami, raised between Argentina and London, and my first language is Spanish, so legally my ethnicity is ‘fashion week’.”
Taylor-Joy concluded the monologue by introducing the show, including musical performer Lil Nas X, in Spanish.
She later returned to play various characters, including Emma ‘Baby Spice’ Bunton in a Hollywood Squares-themed sketch.
Earlier in the show, Chris Rock had joined the cast as they offered their memories of making Saturday Night Live during a year of pandemic-related restrictions.