Paul Rudd gives shout out to SM West teacher Mrs. Shipley while hosting SNL

Paul Rudd SNL

Paul Rudd, a 1987 SM West grad, hosted Saturday Night Live this past weekend for the fifth time in his career. The show was pared back due to rising COVID-19 case numbers in New York City, but Rudd still found time during one segment to shout out his high school speech and forensics teacher Sally Shipley. Image via SNL Twitter.

It wasn’t the Saturday Night Live show that Paul Rudd had likely hoped for, but the Johnson County native — as he’s wont to do — still got in a nice shout-out to his roots.

This past Saturday’s show, hosted by Rudd (for the fifth time in his career), was a pared-back affair due to rising COVID-19 case numbers in New York City.

There was no live audience, fewer sketches, no musical performance and most of the cast was not in person in the studio.

Rudd, however, still got an honorary “Five Timers’ Club” jacket in a pre-taped segment featuring other five-time hosts Tina Fey and Tom Hanks.

And in another segment, he also recalled growing up idolizing Steve Martin, an original SNL cast member who returned to host frequently in the 1980s and 1990s.

“As a kid, I would memorize his sketches and perform them for my friends at school,” Rudd said. “They hated it.”

Rudd went on to say he had a “vivid memory” of watching Martin’s “Holiday Wish” sketch, which originally aired in 1986.

“It blew me away,” he said. “I memorized it as soon as I could and performed it in Mrs. Shipley’s speech class, not realizing how lame that actually is.”

Rudd went on to introduce the “Holiday Wish” segment again:

“So, if any of my friends from high school are watching, you’re going to have to hear this one more time.”

*Fair warning: The sketch Rudd introduces has some adult material.*

Throughout his career, Rudd has frequently given shout-outs to Sally Shipley, his speech and forensics teacher at SM West. As has another SM West alum who had her as a teacher, Jason Sudeikis.

Here’s a nice profile of Shipley published in the Kansas City Star in 2018.