Ana Gasteyer’s Topless Martha Stewart on ‘SNL’ Tapped Into ‘Weird Hot Mom Factor’

Ana Gasteyer’s Topless Martha Stewart on ‘SNL’ Tapped Into ‘Weird Hot Mom Factor’

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These days, 82-year-old Martha Stewart is a certified sex symbol. One week, she’s posing for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Another week, she’s telling everyone why she doesn’t wear underwear. None of this would come as a surprise to Saturday Night Live’s Ana Gasteyer, who was channeling Stewart’s inner vixen years ago.

“My friend Norm Hiscock wrote this sketch with me and we wanted to write her with as much integrity as possible,” Gasteyer told Groundlings teacher Tony Sepulveda during a live panel celebrating the improv group’s 50th anniversary, as reported by Entertainment Weekly

Hiscock came to Gasteyer and “was like, 'You're not gonna like this idea. What if we just do a promo of her Christmas show but she's topless.' I was like, 'Yeah, I like it.' 'Cause there's this weird kind of hot mom factor that people were never really acknowledging about (her).”

Like the bleep that makes censored profanity somehow even funnier, Gasteyer loved the idea of a “really cheap” digital black bar obscuring her breasts, “sort of like an old time-y, burlseque-y sort of vibe.” There’s another great visual joke where Stewart appears to be wearing a Santa-red turtleneck sweater — the camera pulls out to reveal she’s cut it up to make a holiday dickey, leaving her jingle bells exposed. 

That sketch put Gasteyer on the SNL map, at least as far as she was concerned. “My first sense of success on the show was Martha Stewart's Topless Christmas,” she said in 2021. "When I wrote that sketch and when it played, I remember being like, ‘Oh I might not get fired.’” That sketch, along with her NPR Delicious Dish bit featuring Alec Baldwin’s Schweddy Balls, make Gasteyer a staple on SNL Christmas compilations. 

The Martha Stewart holiday special promo culminates with a boys’ choir showing up as inappropriate special guests. It was Gasteyer’s idea but she didn’t really expect the lads to show up, especially because she “didn’t have a shirt on.”

Record scratch! Wait — Gasteyer was actually topless when she filmed the sketch? “Oh my god, I really, really, basically was,” she said. “But that was a different time.”


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