Dolly Parton is everywhere in 2020… and nobody’s complaining. The country icon helped fund a much needed COVID-19 vaccine, she released a breathtaking song titled “When Life Is Good Again” in response to the pandemic, and she dropped her first Christmas album in decades, among other things. And over the weekend, she appeared on Saturday Night Live.
Well, not exactly. Parton wasn’t actually on the long-running comedy sketch show, but she was impersonated by cast member Melissa Villaseñor. And her portrayal was totally spot on.
Joining co-anchor Colin Jost on the show’s Weekend Update segment, Villaseñor was supposed to show up and talk about her favorite Christmas albums of the year, but it turned into a Dolly-love fest. Jost questioned if his co-star was just aiming to get her Dolly impersonation on the show, since she’s been trying for a long time, but Villaseñor denied it.
“What? No. This is my special Christmas outfit,” she said. “And these are my regular big old things. I’m here to talk about Christmas.”
It was just a coincidence that Villaseñor was dressed in a rhinestone studded, body hugging white evening gown with fringe on the shoulders. And that her hair was platinum blonde and teased up to the sky. And that her singing voice had a warbling soprano twang, just like Parton’s… And that her favorite Christmas songs were “Holly Jolly Christmas” (a focus track on Parton’s new album) and “Jingle Bells,” set to the tune of “Jolene.”
Eventually, Villaseñor admitted that she was, in fact, impersonating Dolly. And then she ended the skit with her favorite “hymn” — Parton’s classic “9 to 5.” But there was no need to apologize, because Dolly Parton is welcome anywhere, any time. It just goes to show that she’s one of country music’s greatest gifts.
“OK, fine, yeah, I want to be Dolly,” Villaseñor said. “Who doesn’t? She’s the coolest. She’s a great singer. She writes her own songs. She donated a million dollars to the vaccine!”