SNL ‘s Heidi Gardner Raves About Playing Michael Jordan’s ‘Iconic’ Security Guard in The Last Dance Spoof
Kyle Dubiel/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images Heidi Gardner stole the show on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live, recreating one of the most memorable scenes from The Last Dance. On Sunday, the comedian, 37, raved about getting to play Michael Jordan’s beloved security guard John Michael Wozniak in a hilarious extended cut of a scene from the Jason Hehir-directed documentary. SNL‘s parody had the basketball star taking a quarter game too far, winning Wozniak’s glasses, pants and even his wife.
“The Last Dance = ? + ? truly one of the most fun nights of my life recreating one of the best scenes ever,” Gardner wrote on Instagram. “@streeterseidell had the idea for this and I’m so grateful he could see me as the iconic John Michael Wozniak.” The SNL star credited the directors and praised her fellow cast members, including Kenan Thompson who portrayed Charles Barkley, Alex Moffat who played Phil Jackson, Chris Redd who portrayed Dennis Rodman and guest host Keegan-Michael Key who played Jordan. RELATED: SNL: Keegan-Michael Key Makes Hosting Debut, Gets Mistaken for Jordan Peele by a Fan
“I can’t help but gush over how special the whole experience was,” Gardner wrote. “@mikeyfuntime started it off perfectly. Hair, makeup, and wardrobe made this look exactly like it was 1993. @bryanmatechen @jillbream ????? and @louiezfx making special sheets of leg hair that were BEYOND!! Gina made the perfect Wozniak, lion’s mane wig!”
Gardner added, “And all the actors in it who were there late but had such a fun energy and having them in vintage bulls warm-ups was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Thank you! It’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to the locker room at the NBA Finals and that’s cool with me!
The handheld cameras, the crew, the editors made this look so legit. A dream come true for a kid who has always loved comedy and basketball. @nbcsnl ??? little woz easter egg at the end. Huge @fayedunaway fan I guess.”
The real Wozniak worked as Jordan’s personal security guard since his time with the Chicago Bulls. Wozniak remained close to the Jordan family over the years. “I can call Michael anytime,” he told Complex in 2016. “I just spoke to him the other day.”
Wozniak became a fan favorite in The Last Dance, a 10-part documentary series from ESPN and Netflix about Jordan’s last year with the Bulls during the 1997-1998 NBA season. The series was a must-watch during the COVID lockdown and won a Creative Arts Emmy Award. Wozniak died in January 2020 after a battle with colon cancer.
He was 69.
Last fall, his family auctioned off some of the gifts Jordan gave him.