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Jason Momoa Shouted Out His Mom and His Baywatch Days in SNL Monologue
Aquaman's Momoa got personal in his November 18 SNL monologue, connecting life experiences to his love for water both onscreen and off.
Jason Momoa opened his November 18 Saturday Night Live episode with a monologue—or dare we call it, a Momoalogue—that celebrated his mom, his past, his native Hawaiian heritage, and his hopes for the future.
Welcoming the crowd with "mahalo nui loa," which means "thank you very much" in Hawaiian, Momoa let the Studio 8H audience know that his mom Coni Momoa was in the crowd.
"If you see her, be careful," Momoa jokes. "She's still recovering from giving birth to me."
Momoa brought plenty of enthusiasm to his second time hosting SNL. "I love this place. I love life!" he announced. "I love waking up and washing my luxurious hair with the full bottle of shampoo, and I love Aquaman."
It was a segue to Momoa's look back at his lifelong connection to the sea. Before becoming an actor, Momoa wanted to be a marine biologist. "Problem was that even though I was born in Hawaii, I grew up in Iowa," he said. "Not really known for their oceans."
As Momoa recounted, returning to his birthplace helped kick off the career that led him to starring as one of the DC Universe's most iconic characters in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
When was Jason Momoa on Baywatch?
Momoa said in his monologue that after watching his Hawaiian surfer cousin Brian Keaulana in the 1998 movie In God's Hands, he felt called back to the islands. "I went back to surf with my family," he said, "and I ended up getting on a TV show called Baywatch."
At a babyfaced 19 years old, Momoa played lifeguard Jason Ioane on Baywatch from 1999-2001. Before moving on to bigger and better things—like playing Ronan Dex on Stargate: Atlantis, for starters—Momoa took on a few more hunky Hawaii-set roles in the short-lived nighttime soap North Shore and a TV movie Tempted co-starring Virginia Madsen.
In a way, Momoa said on SNL, his life has come "full circle" now: He plays a literal ocean man in movies and he's started an aluminum water bottle company called Mananalu Water. "This work means a lot to me," Momoa said, "Take care of the earth, take care of each other."