The Insanely Intense Actor Who Colin Jost Says Is Great at Hosting ‘SNL’

Jost is comparing Will Ferrell to WHO?
The Insanely Intense Actor Who Colin Jost Says Is Great at Hosting ‘SNL’

When we look back on the current season of Saturday Night Live, the year’s most successful hosts — Emma StoneKristen WiigNate Bargatze — won’t come as much of a surprise. All of them are comedy veterans who we expect to make us laugh. But according to SNL’s Colin Jost, another of Season 49’s best is a guy who’s surprisingly great given his pedigree as an intensely dramatic actor.

Adam Driver is especially good at the table read,” Jost said during the Table for Two podcast with Bruce Bozzi. Even though the cast has to act out 40-odd scripts, Driver "makes a choice for all those pieces, and an interesting choice, in the same way Will Ferrell does. Ferrell will find a new move for all of them.”

Will Ferrell? Adam Driver? It’s not the first comparison that comes to mind. But when you think about the two performers, it makes sense in that both are 100 percet committed to supremely weird acting decisions. “Driver is a host who is always doing the most,” wrote Vulture of the actor’s most recent hosting stint in December. “He entered several sketches like the Kool-Aid Man doing accentwork.”

As funny as Bargatze was, for example, there’s no way the stand-up would try to pull off a bit like Airplane Baby. Driver goes balls to the wall, running through the gamut of baby emotions from elation to confusion to abject terror. “Driver’s fierce commitment to the bit was incredible, nailing every baby mannerism and wail,” raved Rolling Stone. “He’s the rare SNL host who doesn’t mail in a single line, let alone sketch, and is open to doing just about anything.” 

And you’re right, Jost — it’s the kind of over-the-top physicality we came to expect from Ferrell, who also pulled off a version of man-baby during his tenure on the show. 

Maybe being an impassioned dramatic actor is a secret key to being a good host. Jost also calls out Christopher Walken, an Academy Award winner for his gut-wrenching turn in The Deer Hunter, as one of the best hosts ever. In particular, Jost was impressed with Walken’s ability to work with material to find the funny. While SNL is famous for last-minute joke revisions, Walken insisted on keeping scripts intact so that as an actor, he could find the bit’s natural rhythms. 

The lesson in all of this? Cast Will Ferrell in an intense, dramatic movie ASAP! If it works in one direction, why wouldn’t it succeed the other way around?


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