Former “Saturday Night Live” star Kate McKinnon, a Sea Cliff native, will star in a Super Bowl commercial for Hellmann's mayonnaise. The spot continues the company's “Make Taste, Not Waste” campaign encouraging the use of mayonnaise to make meals out of leftovers rather than throwing them away.
Released online Tuesday, the minute-long spot features McKinnon as a version of herself in her kitchen, lamenting to her fluffy longhair cat about the contents of her fridge. “Leftover chicken, scallions, cheese — what am I going to make with this?”
The cat meows, sounding like “Mayow,” inspiring McKinnon. She says aloud, “Mayo. Hellmann’s. Holy [cash-register ding], you can talk!”
In a rapid montage satirizing the familiar path of modern-day celebrity, McKinnon and the feline — dubbed Mayo Cat in the commercial, played by Chipmunk — prepare food on a morning show and appear at a book signing for the cat’s “instant bestseller,” titled “Taste Over Waste.”
Soon Mayo Cat is the keynote speaker at a TED Talk-like event — even though all the cat can say is “Mayow.” She poses with McKinnon at a photo shoot as a photographer (Connor Ratliff, who plays Mr. Rapp in the “Mean Girls” movie musical) shouts directions. A Times Square billboard announces, “Mayo Mania Sweeps Nation.” The cat’s social media page climbs from 5 million to 12.2 million followers. A Japanese newscast reports on the phenomenon.
Soon the cat is addressing world leaders and attending a red-carpet event for the hunger-relief organization Feeding America — with McKinnon’s former “SNL” castmate Pete Davidson as Mayo Cat's date. Alas, as a People magazine cover story next informs us, “Mayo Cat Dumps Davidson!” Soon McKinnon and the cat are back in the kitchen, wiser and none the worse for wear.
“I made sure to check with him, and he was totally game,” McKinnon told CNN about the tongue-in-cheek jibe at Davidson having been linked romantically to Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, Kate Beckinsale and others.
The commercial, directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon, also was released in a 30-second version. Hellmann’s had released a 15-second teaser on Jan. 22 containing “outtakes” from the final commercial’s photo shoot.
North Shore High School graduate McKinnon, 40, famously played cat lady Barbara DeDrew in “SNL” sketches. The two-time Emmy Award winner and “Barbie” co-star has no social media, but said in a statement, “I’m so excited to partner with Hellmann's and my old pal Pete to spread awareness about food waste. Hanging with Mayo Cat and enjoying leftovers is a perfect way to celebrate the Big Game!”
Davidson, 30, said in a statement, “Although our whirlwind romance has come to an end, Mayo Cat and I remain good friends, united by our common goal to end food waste. I'm a big leftovers guy so it's been cool to be a part of Hellmann's ads for the Big Game and their mission to reduce food waste.”
This is Hellmann's fourth consecutive year with a Super Bowl commercial. Super Bowl LVIII, pitting returning AFC champion Kansas City against San Francisco, takes place Feb. 11 in Las Vegas.