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Miley Cyrus sings emotional cover of Dolly Parton for Mother's Day-themed 'SNL'

The cast — and Cyrus — appeared side by side with their moms in the Mother's Day episode's cold open.
/ Source: TODAY

In lieu of a traditional cold open for the most recent episode of “Saturday Night Live,” the cast came together to celebrate Mother’s Day one by one with their own moms by their side.

During the scene, the episode’s musical guest, Miley Cyrus, sang a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” with interludes from cast members introducing their moms.

Cyrus put a rock 'n' roll touch to the country hit, which Parton released in 1977. She reportedly wrote the song after parting ways with her longtime musical partner Porter Wagoner.

"It's been a long dark night / And I've been a waitin' for the morning / It's been a long hard fight / But I see a brand new day a dawning," the lyrics go — an apt song choice considering the challenges the pandemic has presented mothers with.

Cyrus was also joined by her mom, Tish, at the end of the number and gave her a shoutout. She also wished her godmother Dolly Parton a happy Mother's Day.

Through the pop star's moving rendition, various "SNL" cast members made jokes to the camera alongside their mothers. Kate McKinnon kicked off the cold open with her mom, who appeared to confuse her with “SNL” alum Molly Shannon when she asked if she would be playing the character Mary Katherine Gallagher during the episode. The sweet moment fittingly ended with the two women playing out one of Shannon’s classic movies, jumping down onto one knee with their arms in the air, this time subbing out “Superstar!” for “Mother’s Day!”

Aidy Bryant’s mom took a more promotional approach, taking the moment to plug season three of her daughter’s show “Shrill,” which just released on Hulu on Friday. Beck Bennett’s mom flipped the switch, telling her son that she was proud of him, before adding that she was also proud of his brothers, too. Mikey Day followed with his mom, who said she couldn’t wait to give him a hug. “Him” in this case was Bennett, rather than her own son.

Miley Cyrus
The Cast of SNL and musical guest Miley Cyrus with their mothers during the Mother's Day Message Cold Open on Saturday, May 8, 2021.Will Heath / NBC

Chris Redd’s mom told her son she missed him since they’d last seen each other at “Thanksgiving ... and Christmas ... and our big spring break vacation at Disneyland” while they were meant to be in lockdown.

Veteran cast member Kenan Thompson paid homage to his mom, who he said was “the woman who taught me everything I know, including how to do reaction shots.” Cut to a reaction shot of Thompson and his mom making silly faces into the camera.

Melissa Villaseñor broke out an impression of her mom, which didn’t impress her much, while Chloe Fineman got burned by her mom, who revealed that her dad was actually her best friend, not her daughter. Bowen Yang got a cheek full of hand sanitizer after his mom gave him a kiss for some extra protection.

Pete Davidson made an appearance with his mom, who has been featured on the show multiple times throughout the year, including at the “Weekend Update” desk. She joked that she almost missed the show because she was “up until 6 playing Madden with Chalamet.”

Meanwhile, Colin Jost’s mom hit the stage with cue cards in hand. She explained that Michael Che gave them to her so she could read them for the first time on-air, to which her Jost said, “You shouldn’t do that, Mom. It’s a trap — you’ll get our whole family canceled.”

Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, Lauren Holt, and Punkie Johnson all shared funny moments with their mom throughout the cold open. Cecily Strong ended the cast member introductions with a touching moment with her mom, in which she teared up and hugged her mom instead of heading straight into the punchline.