Keegan-Michael Key (center) hosted “Saturday Night Live” with musical guest Olivia Rodrigo (left) and cast member Kate McKinnon. | NBC
Host Keegan-Michael Key zings MJ’s drive to win by recalling his hallway bet with a security guard, a highlight of last year’s Bulls docuseries.
It’s been a year since “The Last Dance” stirred up a new wave of interest in Michael Jordan’s heyday, but that didn’t stop “Saturday Night Live” from spoofing one if its iconic moments this weekend.
Host Keegan-Michael Key, a former Chicago improv star, played His Airness in flashback to the bit where Jordan played quarters with security guard John Michael Wozniak — and lost. Wozniak gloated with a “whaddya gonna do”-style shrug.
In this version, Jordan does not lose $5 bet gracefully. Looking back at the exchange years later, the notoriously driven, win-at-all-costs superstar says he was happy for his friend until “he did that little shrug, and I took that personally.”
He insists on a rematch and vindictively raises the stakes to $1,000. The guard (played by cast member Heidi Gardner, with Wozniak’s trademark epic perm) reluctantly agrees, but admits after losing, “That is financially rough for me.”
And then Jordan keeps piling on, insisting the next wagers include Wozniak’s pants, his glasses and worse.
The bit also had room for visits from Phil Jackson (Alex Moffatt, a former Bulls halftime performer), Kenan Thompson as Charles Barkley and Dennis Rodman (Chris Redd, another former Chicagoan), who sums up the theme of the scene: “[Jordan] didn’t just want to beat you. He wanted to dominate you. He wanted to embarrass you.”