‘SNL’ Writer Says Travis Kelce Was Terrible at Reading

How do you win at ‘SNL’? Practice, practice, practice
‘SNL’ Writer Says Travis Kelce Was Terrible at Reading

By most accounts, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce scored big when he hosted Saturday Night Live last season. Vulture thought he aced his monologue, noting that Kelce “has a lot of presence and a lot of energy, and he is absolutely stoked to be here. Let’s go!” Patrick Weathers, who was briefly a cast member back in Season 6, told Entertainment WeeklyThis guys like Peyton Manning — hes obviously talented. The A.V. Club said that “while Kelce may have entered Studio 8H as an underdog, he proved himself as one of the season’s most agile hosts.” Even Barry’s Henry Winkler weighed in:

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But while Kelce may have made late-night sketch comedy look as easy as an obligatory Taylor Swift reference, it was apparently anything but. At least his football career made him familiar with the routine of practices and walkthroughs before game time. “You rehearse the monologues three or four times before you actually do it,” Kelce said on the Bussin’ with the Boys podcast. “There’s an entire dress rehearsal where there’s a live crowd. And that’s the one where you do every single skit, start to finish. That’s the one where you’re getting your bearings.”

But Kelce took two-a-day practice sessions to another level. Stand-up and SNL writer Rosebud Baker was recently hosting a comedy show when an audience member asked for her best celebrity story. Baker called an audible and went with a famous athlete. 

She told the crowd about a very nervous Kelce putting in the extra reps to nail the laughs. Turns out that cold-reading sketch scripts was not his strong suit, but Baker was touched by Kelce’s devotion to getting it right.

“He’s a very sweet, sweet guy, terrible at reading,” Baker said. “He just kept tripping over lines and the table read was going so long. I walked by Travis’ dressing room and I heard him practicing his lines with his football player friend! And I started crying. I’m like, ‘They’re practicing reading!’ I mean, I should have known I was pregnant right then.”

Kelce’s practice made perfect with his winning SNL appearance. And hey, we each have our talents. While Baker is a talented comic and writer, her breadth of knowledge didn’t include which team Kelce played for. Was it Kansas something? She settled on “He played for Who Gives A Fuck and they won the Super Bowl.”

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