The White Lotus Got Called Out By SNL

An SNL skit called out HBO's hit series, The White Lotus, for the unbelievable way hotel staff responded to the show's needy guests.

By Jessica Scott | Published

The White Lotus

If HBO’s The White Lotus is a bit too high-falutin’ for you, take a trip to Saturday Night Live’s “Black Lotus,” an upper-class hotel run by an all-black staff who has had just about enough of their rich guests’ attitudes. Keenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, Punkie Johnson, and Devon Walker play the hotel’s employees, with guest star – and real White Lotus actress – Aubrey Plaza playing Thompson’s Latina girlfriend who slaps guests when they get too worked up.

The “Black Lotus” sketch has almost everything that the real White Lotus has, from upper-crust wealthy people going through emotional crises to a woman whose new boyfriend is most definitely about to kill her. It even has its own version of Jennifer Coolidge’s character Tanya, who is played very convincingly by SNL’s Chloe Fineman. The only difference is that the Black Lotus staff has “no time for this nonsense.”

Fans loved the staff’s more brutally honest (and perhaps more believable) responses to the guests’ odd requests and attitudes, although some were wondering why Aubrey Plaza didn’t play Harper, the character she plays on the real White Lotus. No one else played that role either, however, so this was certainly a choice SNL made to work for even bigger laughs – which paid off.

Fans of Plaza will have enjoyed this whole episode, as it also brought back the character that really put her on the map: Parks and Recreation’s April Ludgate. During the Weekend Update segment, she reprised her role as the surly young woman, encouraging people to get involved in their community and their local government. Amy Poehler even made an appearance as her boss, Leslie Knope.

Other sketches included one with Plaza and Mikey Day playing a new couple who go to a neighbor’s house for game night and totally overshare, making everyone else regret inviting them, and a unique back-and-white noir bit where the White Lotus star plays a woman who may or may not have killed five of her husbands. 

As reported by The Guardian, Plaza also brags in her monologue about having been voted the most famous person from Delaware, her home state. Thanks to the fame gained from her roles in shows and films White Lotus and Emily the Criminal, she beat out President Joe Biden for the top spot. Biden even recorded a message to congratulate her, making it even more official.

The White Lotus
Aubrey Plaza in The White Lotus

Also in her monologue, Aubrey Plaza takes a walk down memory lane, telling the audience about how she used to work as a page at NBC. Part of that job entailed giving visitors a backstage tour, something she mentions always led to unrealistic expectations about meeting celebrities… right before she runs into Amy Poehler. The two exchange a greeting, with Poehler fussing over her young protege like a worried mother, and then the White Lotus actress is off again.

This was Aubrey Plaza’s first time hosting SNL, and it brought her career full circle. She went from being a page at NBC to acting in shows like The White Lotus, one of the most talked-about shows on television at the moment, so hosting the show was surely a big moment for her. Maybe even big enough to give her the air of entitlement that would get her yelled at by the Black Lotus staff!