Before “stan” was a colloquialism used to describe obsessive fandom, it was a hit single off Eminem’s 2000 album “The Marshall Mathers LP.” Now, two decades later, comedian Pete Davidson parodied the song on “Saturday Night Live” by turning it into a twisted Christmas anthem, “Stu,” and the rapper himself got in on the fun.
With his hair bleached blond, as Eminem’s was in the late-1990s and early 200s, and wearing a white tank top as Devon Sawa did in the music video for “Stan,” Davidson descended down some basement steps to write his letter to Santa. Surrounded by cut-out photos of jolly ole Saint Nick, he began, “Dear Santa / I can’t believe the year is almost over / it’s getting colder, I’m a year older but I’m still your soldier.”
Rather than wax nostalgic about his love for the man in the red coat who brings joy and presents to children all over the world, Davidson’s track turned into a plea for one present he wanted this year, aka “the only thing keeping me alive / Dear Santa, please bring me a PS5.”
He rapped: “I tried to buy one at Walmart / ran around the shop mall like Paul Blart / tried to find one for sale / but the thing is they’re all out / yo, I even went to a Gamestop / but then I was like, ‘Oh wait stop’ / Santa Claus can make one, the man got his own workshop.”
He also borrowed some of the original song’s lyrics, such as, “I know you probably hear this every day” (only instead of “I’m your biggest fan,” as in “Stan,” he followed up that line with, “you got a cool hat”) and “I even got a tattoo of your name across my chest.”
The music video sketch aired in the Dec. 5 episode of the late-night sketch comedy show, with that week’s guest host Jason Bateman portraying Santa Claus. Chloe Fineman, Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett played elves in Santa’s workshop who grew increasingly concerned by the continued letters they received from Stu.
After his first one was not answered, Davidson’s Stu wrote again, with lyrics including, “If you can’t help your biggest fan then you should just retire / or next time you slide down my chimney I’ll set your ass on fire.”
Eminem’s “Stan” featured Dido singing the chorus, and Kate McKinnon took on that role in “Stu.” But Eminem and Sir Elton John also famously dueted the track at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards, so Bowen Yang took on the Rocket Man for a verse, too.
“Stu is waiting for his surprise / to open up a PS5 / he just really wants to play / “Assassin’s Creed” on Christmas Day / but he can’t buy it himself because he lost his job because he was stealing from his boss / I’d be worried, Stu’s a scary guy / a scary guy,” McKinnon sang.
Yang’s verse went: “This year Christmas will be bad / ’cause Santa sucks and Stu is sad / He already asked you really nicely and now he’s really pissed off / I’m just telling you ’cause I like you a lot / I’m a big fan of Santa Claus / and I also want a PS5, a PS5.”
For his last letter, Davidson was in a car, recording himself while driving in the rain: “Dear Mr. Holly Jolly Son of a Bitch / I hope you crash your sleigh and end up face down in a ditch,” Davidson rapped toward the end. “I guess the great Saint Nick can’t even track down a PS5 / Hey Santa, I drank a fifth of eggnog, dare me to drive?”
The end of “Stan” finally sees Em respond to the author of the letters with a verse of his own, so naturally Bateman took a turn behind the mic, so to speak, simply saying, “Dear Stu, I think you got the wrong address bro. I’m not Santa Claus, bye bye.”
Eminem popped up at the very end of the video, shown on the television screen in Davidson’s basement. Whereas it had been playing cartoons of Santa earlier in the video, the screen went to color bars before showing a present with a label for Shady, from Santa. Eminem appeared in a holiday sweater, revealing he received a PS5 even though he “didn’t even ask for this.”
“I guess Shady must have been a good boy this year,” the rapper said. “Sorry Stu, you f—ed up.”
“Stan” was released as the third single off “The Marshall Mathers LP” album, which was Eminem’s third studio album. It was nominated for five MTV Video Music Awards in 2001, as well as a BET Award for Video of the Year, and a Best Song award from MTV Europe’s music awards.
Watch “Stu” below:
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) December 6, 2020
“Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.