Watch: Adele says she only brought half of her to Saturday Night Live as she makes reference to her weight loss
The star showed off her slimmer figure in an all-black outfit as she returned to the long-running sketch show for the first time since 2015, when she appeared as a musical guest.
The 32-year-old singer, whose most recent album was the Grammy-winning 25 in 2015, appeared as a ghost in a sketch alongside Pete Davidson, while also appearing as herself in a skit of reality show The Bachelor.
Adele, who split from husband Simon Konecki last year, said she had had her fair share of heartbreak while breaking into some of her best-known songs and belting out her 2011 ballad Someone Like You.
She later struggled to keep it together during a sketch featuring a skit of a tourism advert for visiting Africa, where she and SNL regular Kate McKinnon played "divorcees of a certain age," sharing an innuendo-filled list of what they love about the continent.
In her opening monologue, Adele recalled her first appearance on the show in 2008, which she credits with helping her crack America.
She also revealed why she was only on hosting duties, with singer-songwriter H.E.R appearing as musical guest.
Watch: Adele’s SNL monologue
"My album is not finished and I'm also too scared to do both. I would rather just put on some wigs - and this is all mine by the way - have a glass of wine or six and just see what happens."
addressing her weight loss, the singer said: "And I know I look really, really different since you last saw me but actually, because of all the Covid restrictions and the travel bans, I had to travel light and only bring half of me - and this is the half I chose."
The joke was met by cheers and applause from the audience inside Studio 8H.
She also joked about swearing when becoming nervous while on live TV, as the cameras cut to SNL star Kenan Thompson posing with a comically large swear jar filled with cash.
The star finished by telling the audience she had had "the time of my life", adding: "And don't forget to vote".