Caitlin Clark appears on SNL, thanks WNBA greats who ‘kicked down the door, so I could walk inside’

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Caitlin Clark appears on SNL, thanks WNBA greats who ‘kicked down the door, so I could walk inside’

When Michael Che introduced Caitlin Clark on his and Colin Jost’s “Saturday Night Live” segment “Weekend Update,” viewers expected a fellow comedian in a long, dark wig to slide into frame.

Instead, the actual owner of the NCAA all-time scoring record of men’s and women’s basketball appeared.

Clark joined Che on the desk — the segment’s set — to talk about the WNBA Draft, which the presumptive No. 1 pick was in New York City for with the draft being Monday night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Clark received a good 20-second ovation from the live crowd that would have continued had she not cut the audience off to get the segment started.

“Hey Michael, thanks for having me,” Clark said.

“I am a fan Caitlin, by the way,” Che said.

“Really Michael, because I heard that little apron joke you did …” Clark said lightheartedly of a joke Che made minutes before, in which Che said before introducing Clark that Iowa will have her No. 22 jersey retired “and replaced with an apron.”

The crowd was quick to “ooh” at Che’s joke, but cheer for Clark, who bantered on and called out Che for having made numerous jokes at the expense of women’s sports in the past. Unlike those jokes, Clark said she wrote some “good” rib-ticklers about women’s sports. Che then read them aloud.

“This year Caitlin Clark broke the record for 3-pointers in a single season and I have three-pointers for Michael Che,” Che said, reading the joke. “One: Be. Two: Funnier. Three: Dumba—.”

The crowd — already mesmerized by the Caitlin Clark effect — loved it.

To close out the clip, Clark thanked the “great players” before her for “laying the foundation” in the WNBA. One of who, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley, recently called Clark “one of the GOATs of our game” after a year in women’s basketball that saw Clark claim numerous records, helping popularize the game.

The Iowa-South Carolina title game drew a record 18.9 million viewers, peaking at 24.1 million, making it the most-watched basketball game (men’s or women’s, college or pro) since 2019, per ESPN. Ticket sales also skyrocketed, with every ticket to Iowa’s NCAA Tournament first and second rounds at Carver-Hawkeye Arena selling out in just 30 minutes. Women’s Final Four tickets boasted, with service fees, a get-in price of around $965.

Clark graduated college with more than 3,900 points to her name and a number never to be worn again by an Iowa women’s basketball player. But she starts with a clean slate Monday when Clark hears her name for the first time as a pro.

“I’m sure (my rookie year in the WNBA will) be a big first step for me,” Clark said. “But it’s just one step for the WNBA, thanks to all the great players like Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie, Cynthia Cooper, the great Dawn Staley and my basketball hero, Maya Moore. These are the women that kicked down the door, so I could walk inside.”

Clark then handed Che a signed apron. She won’t be needing it: It’s not the required attire for where Clark cooks.

Required reading

(Photo: Andy Lyons / Getty Images)