Eli Manning DID Host Saturday Night Live. You’re Welcome, America!

Justin May 6, 2012 0

You know who I think is hilarious? Me. I think I am hilarious. I crack myself up all the time. A few months ago, I decided Eli Manning should host Saturday Night Live. Then, I sketched out the basics of a whole episode.  When I found out last month that Eli Manning was actually going to host Saturday Night Live, I made a couple of revisions.

Well, the big day has come and gone. Eli hosted Saturday Night. Let’s see how he did. And more importantly, let’s see  how I did.

Cold Open

SNL does a Fox and Friends parody. There were a lot of good jokes. I laughed out loud three or four times.  Then Fred Armisen shows up as Rupert Murdoch and the whole things goes off the rails. Armisen is rarely funny.  At the end, they ran down a list of “corrections” too quickly for you to read on tv.  Luckily, my DVR has a pause button. A few highlights:

“Kirk Cameron is not the voice of Siri”

“Miss America is not third in the order of succession for the Presidency, nor is Miss Teen USA fourth.”

“You do not need a spaceship to get to China.”

“Congress has not declared a ‘War on Jean Shorts'”

In my initial SNL piece, I said the cold open would be some stupid Armisen as Obama thing that isn’t funny. So, while Armisen did show up to try to ruin this skit, the parts that did not include him made me laugh. Was it funnier than the cold open idea I had a couple of weeks ago?

we have Eli sitting in his dressing room, getting ready for the show. Someone walks in. It’s someone with SNL gravitas. Maybe it’s Lorne Michaels or Tina Fey. Ideally, though, it’s Alec Baldwin. He asks Eli if he’s nervous, Eli says, “yeah, a little,” so Baldwin begins a pregame pep talk. Pretty quickly, the speech devolves into a Gregg Williams style bounty rant, but instead of advising on Frank Gore’s concussions or Alex Smith’s weak arm, Alec is placing bounties on SNL cast members. He holds up head shots. “This is Bobby Moynihan. He has asthma. I want you to make him laugh so hard he wheezes. I want him sidelined. i don’t want to see him play Snookie. This is Abby Elliot. She has bladder issues. If a joke hits her just right, she will piss her pants. I want to see a wet spot so big that even her father AND her grandfather have to change their clothes.”

No. My idea is funnier.

SNL skit grade: B-. Funnier than Justin’s idea? no


Eli seems really comfortable. He only stumbled once or twice. His timing was pretty good. He joked about being a “real New Yorker,” then said the best Italian restaurant in NYC is an Olive Garden in New Jersey. He also said he likes to listen to the CATS soundtrack while he stands in a pet store and pretends those cats are singing to him. The funniest joke, though, was that he likes walking through Times Square with bulky shopping bags and huge, fat kids.

What was my idea?

Eli comes out and talks about winning a 2nd superbowl and how it’s led some people to say he’s surpassed his brother. But he says he doesn’t think about that. Instead, he likes to think of himself as the third chain in a quarterbacking legacy. At this point, SNL cast member Abby Elliot comes out. She says she knows what Eli is talking about because she’s the third chain in a comedy legacy. Her grandfather is Bob Elliot from Bob and Ray and her father is Chris Elliot. At this point, they begin comparing their families. Eli says “my father is a college football legend who was so famous that the speed limit on the campus at Ole Miss is 18 MPH, because that was his jersey number.” Elliot responds with something about her grandfather being one of the first comedy stars of the television era. Eli comes back with something about how his father had a long and somewhat successful career in the NFL. Elliot discusses her grandfathers long and varied comedy career. Eli says his brother is a 4 time MVP. Elliot says her dad was one of the original stars of Late Night With David Letterman. Eli says his brother won a superbowl before he ever did and even hosted SNL once. This is when it starts to turn. Elliot says her dad starred in a terrible sitcom called “Get A Life,” then joined the cast of SNL during the horrible late 90′s. Eli says his brother is a future hall of famer and one of the great players of all time. Elliot says her dad “played the creepy guy in “There’s Something About Mary.” and now plays a creepy dad on “How I Met Your Mother.” Eli tries to say something to make Chris Elliot a bit less pathetic, but before he can, Abby Elliot whispers in his ear, asking if she can join the Manning family.” Then she walks away dejectedly.

Eli’s Monologue grade: B+. Funnier than Justin’s idea? It’s a tie. 

Commercial Parody

Men and children walking in their moms and wives masterbating while reading 50 Shades of Grey. This was HILARIOUS. Special credit goes to Vanessa Bayer, who is shown sitting the wrong way in a bathtub with her legs on the wall and the faucet aimed right at her lady parts.

What was my idea?

A parody of one of those Sally Struthers style, “for the price of a cup of coffee, you can save this child’s life” commercials, except in this case, the commercial is talking about how sad it is for third world children to be stuck wearing Patriots Super Bowl 46 championship merchandise. (The pre-made championship merchandise for the team that ultimately loses a major championship is usually donated to places life Africa, Latin American and Haiti, where clothes are desperately needed.)  It turns out, this commercial is asking people to donate money so the victims of famine and drought can get Giants stuff, so at least they look like they know what’s going on in the rest of the world. Kristen Wiig can play an overly emotional actress with no makeup and tears streaming down her face.

Commercial Parody Grade: A. Funner than Justin’s idea? Yes, but I still think mine was pretty good.

First Eli playing Eli Sketch:

Eli is wearing a motion capture suit, so they can shoot footage for next season’s Madden. SNL cast members play other big names in the NFL, including Taran Kilam as Tim Tebow and Jay Pharoah as Victor Cruz. Eli is game for doing some wacky shit. He seems to be having fun. The skit’s not great.

What was my idea?

 Eli is at the mall. He’s sitting at a table in the food court. All of a sudden. a guy with long hair and a beard, wearing a Tebow jets jersey, sits down at the table with him.

“Excuse me, Mr. Manning, right?”

Eli says yes, and the guy starts ranting. It’s now that we realize, its not just some guy in a Tebow jersey. It’s JESUS! And he’s pissed. Turns out, he really liked Denver and he is not happy that he had to move to New Jersey and read the New York Post and eat bagels.  He mentions what Pat Robertson said about the Broncos being punished for getting rid of Tebow and he agrees that it’s going to happen. He says something about not wanting to go anywhere near Rex Ryan because he’s most comfortable wearing sandals. Jesus goes on for a while before Eli finally is able to step in.

“Hold on, I’m not Peyton. I’m Eli.”

Jesus responds: “Oh. Oh jeez. (get it??) I’m so sorry. I’m really embarrassed about that. I’m actually a really big fan of yours. Every time you beat Belichick, that’s a win for our side. Congratulations on the Superbowl.”

Eli just stares at him in silence. Jesus takes a long, loud slurp from his large food court soda. Then he waits a beat before saying, “That Tiki Barber’s kind of a douchebag, huh?”

SNL Sketch grade: C. Funnier than Justin’s idea? No way. My idea is fucking brilliant. SNL completely wastes the chance to do Tebow jokes. He’s just there and then he’s out. 

First Eli not playing Eli sketch:

Eli as a murder suspect who gets off because he’s been sexting women. Again, Eli seems up for anything. He makes a few penis jokes, explains the difference between KEWL and cool, and does facial imitations of texting emoticons. Then he says he would rather admit to murder than read his internet history out loud.

What was my idea?

It’s an accounting office. It starts with two guys sitting in an office. One is the boss, played by Jason Sudeikis. The other is an employee, played by Bobby Moynihan. The employee is complaining that the firm has hired some hot shot young accountant to a giant contract, even though he’s never shown any evidence in his career that he’s worth the money. Sudeikis responds with a comment about the kid’s potential. At this point, Eli walks in. He’s playing the hotshot young accountant.  It turns out, his father and older brother are both GREAT accountants. They’re legends.  Moynihan looks over at his boss. The boss responds with a knowing look. They hired this kid because of his DNA more than his ability to do accounting. He gets right to work. At first, he makes stupid mistakes. He forgets to carry the 7. He leaves out a decimal place. But, as the skit goes on, he gets better. At the end of the day, he makes an amazing accounting move and everyone in the office changes their opinion of him. The last line is something about how the accounting helped the company score a big payment from the firm of Brady, Belichick and Welker.

SNL Sketch grade: B. Funnier than Justin’s idea? Yes. 

Filmed field piece:

Eli as a spokesman for the “little brothers” group, which is a mentoring group for kids. Although he just looks out for aggrieved little brothers who are bullied by older siblings.  When Peyton hosted 5 years ago, the funniest sketch was his united way commercial, when he taught kids how to break into a car and told them never to snitch. This is similar, but not derivative.

SNL sketch grade: B. Funnier than Justin’s idea?  I didn’t really have an idea to compare this too, though I think SNL does a better job of tackling the Manning family dynamic than I did in the sketch about the accounting firm. So, in that sense, they have outdone me.

Recurring character sketch in which Eli plays a small part:

SNL brings back Herb Welsh, the old tv reporter who acts unprofessionally and says old timey racist stuff, just like every old person you have ever met. Eli plays an Occupy Wall Street demonstrator.  Even though it’s the exact same jokes every time, I still like Herb Welsh.  I like Bill Hader a lot and, now that Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis are all supposedly leaving, he’s going to be the most marketable star on the show. So we will get more Herb Welsh.

My idea:

It’s a Kristen Wiig sketch. She plays one of her wack-a-doo characters that you laugh at even though you’ve seen it a hundred times. Let’s say it’s the Target Lady. Eli plays one of the customers.

SNL sketch grade: B. Funnier than Justin’s idea? Yeah, probably a little. Target lady still would have been funny, though. Eli could have bought something embarrassing, like a plunger or a huge box of tampons.

Musical Guest:

Eli introduces Rihanna. She pats her vagina while singing “Birthday Cake.” Chris Brown does not come out and hit her.

My idea:

I wanted Weird Al. He would not have patted his vagina nor been assaulted by Chris Brown.

Musical Guest grade: A. Funnier than Justin’s idea?  No, but  Rihanna’s probably one of the five biggest acts in the world right now, so SNL probably made the right choice. Weird Al should host next season though. Let’s all get together and make that happen. A fat guy in Texas did it for Betty White. I’m gonna be Weird Al’s fat guy from Texas.

Weekend Update:

None of Seth Myers’ jokes landed. Kristen Wiig was very funny as the tanning lady. Then Sacha Baron Cohen comes out as his character “The Dictator.”  He isn’t funny anymore. He’s completely hacky. Then Martin Scorcese as a hostage. Enough.

My idea:

At some point, Eli comes out and speaks with Seth Myers and says he’s gotten really comfortable with the media in the past few weeks and whats to try something new. So, he anchors a little weekend update. And makes really weird jokes before Myers cuts him off.

Weekend Update grade: C-. Funnier than Justin’s idea? not even close. And no Eli at all

Now they show a couple of seconds of Beastie Boys in honor of MCA who died yesterday. When I got home last night, I loaded a ton of Beastie Boys onto my Ipod. I have the CDs but never had them on the Ipod until now. And, I’ll probably end up skipping a lot of the songs when they come up on shuffle. I think I like the idea of the Beastie Boys more than I actually like the music. Still, it sucks that he died.

First post-weekend update Sketch:

In the slot usually reserved for the weakest sketch of the episode, SNL actually provides a decent spin on a tired old idea. Abby Elliot plays a game show host who’s actually using the show to find out what’s up with the guy she’s dating. Eli plays the guy.  Both of them are funny, as are Bill Hader and Vanessa Bayer as supporting characters in the sketch. I chuckled throughout. Bonus points to Abby Elliot, who was showing just enough cleavage to distract me over and over again.

My idea:

It opens with Eli’s Disney World commercial. Then it finds him sitting in a convertible with a guy in a Mickey Mouse costume. Its the Disney World parade. They’re waving to the crowd. Eli tries to talk to the Mickey guy. He gets no response. He tries again. Still nothing. Then he says, “Oh, that’s right. Guys in Disney costumes aren’t supposed to speak.” Then the Mickey guy says, ” I can talk. I just don’t want to talk to you, you rube.” Turns out, the guy in the costume is a Pats fan. The conversation continues to get heated as they keep waving to the crowd, until finally, Mickey shoves Eli and Eli rears back and punches Mickey in the face. The skit ends with a mock newspaper, with the picture of Eli punching Mickey and the headline “Disney World Disaster.”

SNL Sketch grade: B-. Funnier than Justin’s idea? Conceptually, not really. My idea is super dated, though. Let’s not forget, I wrote most of these a couple of days after the Superbowl, so ideas that were timely then don’t make a ton of sense now. 

Next Sketch:

It’s called Helga Lately, it’s Chelsea Lately but Swedish. They speak gibberish but then slip in some English. This is fucking terrible. It includes a commercial for the  Kardashians in Swedish. That’s fucking terrible too. Eli, essentially playing himself, dresses stupid and talks like the Swedish Chef from the Muppets.

My idea:

It’s inside a living room. A group of guys sits around. They’re preparing for a fantasy football draft. One of the guys mentions that its too bad “Phil” had to drop out of the league this year. Another guy says, “Don’t worry. I found an awesome replacement. My brother in law plays golf with Eli Manning’s agent.” Doorbell rings and Eli walks in. He’s holding a plate of brownies, which he made for the gathering. The other guys in the room are a mix of excited at having Eli in their fantasy draft and annoyed that he knows the game so much better than them that he’ll definitely win. The draft starts. When Eli’s first pick comes around, he takes himself, then says something about having to be confident in yourself. Everyone agrees. With his second round pick, Eli takes Peyton Manning. Everyone looks surprised. One guy says, “You’re taking two quarterbacks with your first two picks?” Eli says something about not wanting to make his mom angry. The draft continues. With his third pick, Eli takes “Number 88 on my team.” One of the other guys says, “You mean Hakeem Nicks?” Eli sounds unsure. “Yeah.. that guy makes a lot of touchdowns.” (yes.. he says makes touchdowns.) The draft continues. With his fourth pick, Eli tries to draft his father. Now the draft stops. One of the guys says “there aren’t even enough bench slots to have 3 qb’s, and your father has been retired for 40 years.” Eli looks puzzled.  Another guy in the room speaks up, “Eli, do you know who any of the players in the NFL are besides you and your brother?” It turns out, he doesn’t. Instead, he says. “I saw Giselle’s husband in US Weekly. He looked familiar. Is he a football player?”

Sketch grade: F. Funnier than Justin’s idea: No. I think my idea is hilarious. I just read it again for the first time in a couple of months and laughed out loud. Great jokes!

Musical Guest second performance:

Rihanna is certainly talented. She patted her vagina again! She should have been in the 50 shades of grey parody earlier in the episode.

Musical performance grade: A. Funnier than Justin’s idea? Imagine Weird Al in his fat suit right now, singing fat with a bunch of fat guys dancing behind him. That would be awesome. Who wouldn’t love it? MAKE IT HAPPEN, SNL.

Late Keenan Thompson sketch because SNL forgot that they didn’t use him earlier:

They must feel like they had to put Eli in a dress, just because. He plays a drag queen who loses a contest. Keenan plays the same weird MC character he always plays. Armisen is there being shitty.

My idea:

That Keenan Thompson old guy sells a sex instruction tape sketch. Eli is the costar. All the sex positions he demonstrates are football related.

Sketch grade: D. Funnier than Justin’s idea? Nope. And mine wasn’t even that funny.

Final Sketch of the Night:

Eli plays Richard, the original third member of Cheech and Chong. He’s a goody two shoes, who doesn’t like being around his friends when they smoke weed. I can relate. In this case, though, it turns out Richard becomes Mitt Romney.I do not envision myself becoming Mitt Romney

My idea:

A bunch of guys sit around a table. They’re comparing stories from life. Each one gets weirder than the last. Eli says strange stuff about being abducted by Mexican drug lords and watching really weird porn and having a list of what ways he’d like to kill someone from most fun to least. Burning someone alive is most fun. Running them over with a car is least. It’s a really weird sketch. But its the last one of the night, and that’s what’s supposed to happen. It’s a loosely organized collection of strange non sequiturs.

Sketch Grade: C. Funnier than Justin’s idea? Not really. The last sketch of the night is supposed to be completely weird and make almost no sense. The Cheech and Chong thing seemed a little lifeless. My idea isn’t great, though it would have given the writers a chance to make Eli Manning say really strange things, and that would have made me laugh.

Good nights:

Eli mispronounced Martin Scorcese’s name. He called him Score-chay-zee. It was the most nervous he looked all night. Clearly there are no cue cards for the goodnights.

OVERALL EPISODE GRADE: B.  Eli was way better than I expected. In fact, he was as good as most professional actors who host. He was smooth. He never sounded like he was just reading off cue cards. He put himself out there a few times and played more characters than I thought he would. 

BETTER THAN JUSTIN’S EPISODE?: I think mine holds up pretty well. I’m not sure if I’ll declare myself the ultimate winner, but I think a few of my ideas were way better than a few of their’s. 


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