The 'Saturday Night Live' alums stars in Hellmann's Super Bowl commercial alongside "Mayo Cat" — and PEOPLE makes a cameo
Earlier this month, PEOPLE revealed the actress as the celebrity featured in this year's Hellmann’s Super Bowl 2024 commercial. McKinnon, 40, spoke with PEOPLE about what it means to land the ad — which includes a cameo from last year's Hellmann's Super Bowl star, Pete Davidson.
“It was so fun. I've always wanted to do a Super Bowl ad, and I was so thrilled to be presented with one that had a positive social message and also one that involved cats,” she says.
In the 30-second commercial above — which will air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 11 — Hellmann’s promotes tackling food waste with the help of McKinnon’s fictional cat, Mayo Cat.
“Leftover chicken, scallions, cheese. What am I going to do with this?” the former SNL star asks as she opens up her fridge.
In response, her cat talks and answers “mayo,” with a meow-like drawl. McKinnon, clearly in shock, looks to a jar of Hellmann’s mayonnaise and exclaims, “You can talk?”
From there, her adorable kitty experiences mega fame. McKinnon accompanies her on a morning show where Mayo Cat says “mayo” once again and McKinnon recounts the story of how “Hellmann’s saved the leftovers.”
The montage also includes the dynamic duo at a book signing. “She can’t spell,” McKinnon quips. Mayo Cat then appears on stage as a speaker at a black tie event alongside a hilarious sign that reads, “May-Ow.”
In perhaps the funniest scene of the commercial, Davidson walks a red carpet while holding the feline. “Is it serious?” reporters ask, insinuating that they’re dating. Davidson gives a cheeky nod and smile.
The moment then cuts back to a quiet moment in the kitchen with McKinnon and the cat. “Mayo Cat Dumps Davidson!” a faux cover of PEOPLE reads. The comedian hilariously admits to her pet, “You lasted longer than most.” Mayo Cat naturally responds, “Mayo.”
There were several highlights when filming the commercial, McKinnon tells PEOPLE, but reuniting with Davidson was a major plus.
“I love Pete and whenever me and my colleagues see each other, it's just this immediate sense of warmth and family and ‘Oh my God, my brother, how are you?’” she says. “He's so sweet and great and so it was really fun.”
When it comes to working with Mayo Cat, whose real name is Chipmunk, McKinnon gives rave reviews. "The chemistry between me and Chipmunk, it's a romance. It's a romantic commercial,” she jokes of Chipmunk, who was accompanied by cat trainer Tina Weld.
The role is a perfect fit for the Barbie star. Not only is McKinnon a cat owner herself, but one of her most iconic SNL sketches is one in which she places Barbara DeDrew, a cat lady and cat rescue owner.
The only problem is McKinnon's own cat, Nino, may get upset by the commercial.
“I think he sensed what I had been up to that day and he was a little jealous at the end of the day. I can't let him watch it. I won't let him watch it,” she laughed. “I will watch happily and then when the ad comes on, I will send Nino out of the room so that he doesn't pitch a fit and say who the f--- is that?”
The commercial encourages viewers to “make taste not waste” and avoid prematurely throwing away perfectly usable food. McKinnon, an active composter, is proud to promote the message.
“It was such an accurate version of me in the script, just like I really do care about not wasting and I care very much about the earth,” she says. “I also just — I'm obsessed with cats and I'm obsessed with my cat. And so to be handed that as an opportunity, I just was like, ‘Oh, I don't have to really do anything. Just these are my loves.’ It was amazing.”
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