Tonight, in time for Super Bowl weekend, SNL brings in NFL star J.J. Watt to host a new Saturday Night Live!
Despite a U.S. President in the midst of a historically altering impeachment trial, a deadly pandemic possibly developing in China and the nation being in the grip of unspeakable grief for a fallen sports legend, this weekend, the country will take time out from everything ridiculously horrible going on to focus on its true national pastime, football, and Super Bowl 54.
Saturday Night Live is on board with doing a Super Bowl-centric show this weekend as well, hosted by one of the biggest stars in the NFL today who has ironically never played in a Super Bowl, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.
Here’s some background on your host for tonight. Drafted as the 11th overall pick in 2011 by Houston, J.J. Watt has been named to 5 Pro Bowls, won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year 3 times, been a 2-time sack leader and has been awarded both the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year and Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year honors, both in 2017.
Tonight, first-time SNL host J.J. Watt adds his name to a healthy list of celebrity athletes to host Saturday Night Live. Those names include basketball stars Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Charles Barkley as well as MLB icons Derek Jeter, Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner along with other stars of the sports world like Lance Armstrong, Wayne Gretsky, George Foreman, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Andy Roddick and Jeff Gordon.
J.J. Watt also follows in a long line of NFL players who have helmed the most successful variety show in the history of television. Other NFL / SNL hosts included Tom Brady, Prime Time Deion Sanders, John Madden, Joe Montana, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Sweetness Walter Payton, Fran Tarkenton, Alex Karras and O.J. Simpson. Yeah, that last one goes in the SNL Hall of Infamy along with when they let Trump host.
We should definitely expect some cameos tonight on SNL. Usually when a non-entertainer hosts the show, EP Lorne Michaels brings in some extra hands to help out. J.J. Watt has two brothers who also play in the NFL. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T. J. Watt and LA Chargers fullback Derek Watt who may show up tonight, turning the monologue into something that looks more like a Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercial.
The monologue tonight could also be filled cast run-ins where the SNL cast members interrupt J.J. Watt to help him through his opening remarks. It also allows everyone to see how gigantic J.J. is compared to the very tiny cast members. We’ll discuss that more with the promos below. Wait till you see J.J. Watt next to Kyle Mooney.
Another SNL tradition that involves athletes hosting Saturday Night Live is a drag sketch. Several sports stars have ended up dressed as women when hosting SNL. Charles Barkley, Carmelo Anthony (an SNL cameo), Eli Manning and Derek Jeter, along with his New York Yankees teammates David Cone and David Wells have all found themselves in wigs and women’s makeup when appearing on Saturday Night Live.
J.J. Watt is not walking into tonight completely unfamiliar with acting. He’s been preparing for a night like this on SNL. He’s appeared movies like “Bad Moms” and “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” where he was credited as “Football Player.”
He’s also done plenty of television with multiple appearances on “New Girl” and “The League.” And he co-hosted the Country Music Awards in 2016 with sports reporter Erin Andrews.
J.J, Watt has also done comical commercials for Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Reliant Home Security (where he did some synchronized swimming), Gatorade, Texas Tough food storage products, and H‑E‑B Greek Yogurt, Salads and Meats. This feels like we’re going over Corky St. Clair’s resume from “Waiting for Guffman.”
Looking at what else might be subject matter on tonight’s all new Saturday Night Live, there’s bound to be a serious and somber note with a tribute to Kobe Bryant along with his daughter Gianna and the other victims of the helicopter tragedy. Oddly enough, despite being one of the NBA’s all time best, the Lakers legend, never hosted Saturday Night Live. That won’t keep the variety series from honoring him and the others lost in some way.
This evening’s brand new SNL should be all about the Super Bowl with J.J. Watt hosting. There’s tons of directions SNL can go in tonight dealing with Super Bowl 54. The halftime show starring Jennifer Lopez & Shakira, the Super Bowl commercials (Mr. Peanut’s funeral), the host city Miami, Florida and Super Bowl Sunday parties are all possible sources of inspiration for SNL sketches tonight.
Sometimes when an athlete hosts Saturday Night Live, the writers have the host impersonate another athlete or other sports figure. So, we could see easily see J.J. Watt as “NFL on FOX” commentator Howie Long, especially since the Super Bowl will be broadcast on FOX this year.
It’s most likely that the SNL – Cold Open will take us back to Washington DC for President Trump’s Impeachment trial. And along with that, the blockbuster revelations from former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s upcoming tell-all book, “Trump: Quid Pro Doh!” Maybe we’ll get a new SNL cameo as Bolton. Former SNL cast member Dana Carvey has played him on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert“, so maybe he’ll bring the impression to Saturday Night Live.
The impeachment is a gimme on SNL this week, at least on Weekend Update. Especially, if the President is acquitted on Saturday and the GOP’s pretend trial is all over. It might be time for Alec Baldwin to return as SNL ‘s Orange Wonder.
We might even get a SNL opener previewing President Trump’s Super Bowl Sunday sit-down interview with Fox News’ 21st century Joe Rockhead, Sean Hannity. It’s perfect timing for the great Bobby Moynihan to make a cameo back on SNL as Sean Hannity, an impression he did when he was an SNL cast member.
One thing that could end up in sketch-form tonight will be the topic of the deadly Coronavirus outbreak and the global medical emergency it’s caused along with flights being cancelled in and out of China. Not to mention, how nervous Americans are literally googling the phrase “Corona Beer Virus” to get information while throwing out their limes.
Another topic that could be a sketch tonight on SNL could be the Presidential election with the Iowa Caucus coming up next week which will give one of the Democratic candidates their first 2020 victory. The caucus happens this coming Monday, February 3rd. If you’re living in Iowa, be sure to get out and caucus!
Other joke source material includes former New York Mayor & Billionaire Candidate Mike Bloomberg shaking a dog’s mouth and not knowing how to eat ice cream, Harvey Weinstein’s trial going on in NYC, Brexit finally happening in Great Britain, quarterback Tom Brady’s possible exit from the New England Patriots, National Backward Day and R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe claiming he once told Donald Trump to “shut up” at a Patti Smith concert.
Plus there’s Jerry Falwell Jr.’s plan for “Vexit” where he wants less progressive counties in Virginia to defect and secede to West Virginia where they can be more conservative and more importantly, more homophobic.
There’s two promos available below for you to check out for tonight’s new SNL. In the first promo, cast member Kyle Mooney is dwarfed by the size of J.J. Watt as they walk the halls of Studio 8-H. Kyle puts J.J. to the test to make sure he’s a true athlete and up to the task of hosting Saturday Night Live, because, you know, sometimes Kyle gets a little scared.
In the next promo, J.J. Watt is joined by musical guest Luke Combs and cast member Aidy Bryant who J.J. also absolutely towers over. Aidy announces that it’s “Big Boy Week” on SNL. She also tests her own Super Bowl knowledge with this week’s host which leads them to consoling J.J. on a weekend where there’s one other thing he’d really rather be doing this Sunday.
Houston Texans Pro Bowler J.J. Watt hosts a brand new Saturday Night Live tonight with musical guest Luke Combs at 11:30pm et and live across all time zones on NBC!