Live from New York, Mr. Rosenthal makes ‘SNL’ history


Image by Olivia Yasharoff.

WCHS teacher Evan Rosenthal waiting for the crowd to die down before starting his monolgue on “Saturday Night Live.”

By Olivia Yasharoff, Empath

“Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” WCHS teacher Evan Rosenthal has heard this famed line more times than he can count, but he never thought he would hear it in-person, especially from backstage. Following in the large footsteps of comedian John Mulaney and actors Oscar Isaac and Zoe Kravitz, on Saturday, March 26, Rosenthal hosted “Saturday Night Live,” becoming the first-ever non-celebrity to host the show.

“When I got the call from Lorne Michaels asking me to host, I thought it was a student prank,” Rosenthal said. “It’s hard to watch the show and not dream of what it would be like to host. But I’d never have guessed that it would actually happen.”

Lorne Michaels, “SNL” creator and long-time supporter of The Churchill Observer, was perusing his February issue when he came across “Teacher of the Month” Evan Rosenthal. He instantly knew he had found his next host.

“After reading that article, I knew we had to have him on the show,” Michaels said. “He ended up being the perfect choice. He truly shined on stage.”

Rosenthal missed school for the week leading up to the show in order to prepare. While he was in New York, his SMAC class watched reruns of “SNL” episodes to compare the opening monologues and help Rosenthal draft his own. When coming up with ideas, the students thought back to how Rosenthal begins each lesson by saying “Class!” prompting them to bang their desks and clap their hands in a synchronized and rhythmic way. 

“We thought it would be funny if he started his monologue how he starts every class,” SMAC student Norman Bates said. “When he pitched the idea to Lorne, he liked it so much we won’t be surprised if this becomes the new start to every ‘SNL’ monologue.”

After delivering a heartfelt and hilarious monologue dedicated to his family and students, Rosenthal introduced the musical guest – himself – and the show began. He fit into the cast exceptionally well and acted his heart out in various comedic skits.

“I was surprised how quickly he assimilated into the show,” “SNL” cast member Kenan Thompson said. “I can see him becoming a show regular.”

Some of the funniest parts of the show included the pre-recorded “Marry Me” parody and a celebrity game show in which Rosenthal played comedian John Oliver. But the biggest surprise of the night was when WCHS teachers Mr. Field and Mr. Clark made an unexpected appearance at the end of the show to pie Rosenthal in the face.

“That part was definitely not scripted,” Rosenthal said. “I thought I was safe from Pie Madness inside NBC’s Rockefeller Center, but I guess charity knows no bounds.”

Despite having little to no acting experience, Rosenthal performed in ways that critics raved as “inspired” and “unforgettable,” and even made history as the most-viewed episode in “SNL” history.

“As a huge fan of all things entertainment it was an incredible honor to host the show,” Rosenthal said. “But now that I know my power, Colin Jost better watch out because I’m coming for his job.”