How Heidi Gardner Helped Get Travis Kelce His ‘Saturday Night Live’ Hosting Gig
How do you know if someone is from Kansas City? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
That joke has been used on every group from vegans to CrossFit enthusiasts, but, last night, it felt enormously apt for Saturday Night Live star Heidi Gardner as she spent half her airtime on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon talking up her hometown and their football champions the Chiefs. Much like fellow KCMO lover Paul Rudd, Gardner wears her roots on her sleeve — and she’ll go to bat for her city and its sports stars any day.
During the interview, Gardner revealed that Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s recent hosting gig on SNL was, in fact, the result of her multi-year pestering effort coming to fruition. According to Gardner, she had been hounding SNL don Lorne Michaels to let Kelce host for multiple seasons before Kelce finally landed the spot on March 4th. Supposedly, Michaels told Gardner that Kelce could host once he wins a Super Bowl — then Michaels made him do it again.
I’m split on whether or not I believe that Gardner wanted Kelce to host because he’s “funny and charming,” or if she just wanted a chance to ogle the 6-foot-5 Chiefs star’s “tight end” in person — either way, the result was one of the better episodes we’ve seen from a non-entertainer SNL host in a long time. Kelce might not yet be on the Charles Barkley or Peyton Manning level of jock host who’s genuinely hilarious, but with Kelce’s budding media career beginning to gain steam with the New Heights podcast he co-hosts with his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, he could secure the top spot on the sports hero/SNL host list with another equally successful hosting gig.
Maybe Michaels will let him back on once he wins four more Super Bowls.