December 11, 2023
Why Was Adam Driver so Funny Hosting 'SNL?' (Hint – That Chocolate Santa)
READ TIME: 3 MIN.
"Adam Driver cemented his status as one of the all-time great Saturday Night Live hosts this week," praised Rolling Stone after his fourth appearance in the role.
In his opening monologue he showed his considerable skills as a pianist as he recited his Christmas wishes to Santa. "Hey, Santa. It's me, Adam Driver, from the nice list. And also 'Girls.' I turned 40 this year, Santa, so I would like five pairs of chinos. I also want one of those giant metal Tesla trucks. I think it would pair perfectly with my teeny tiny micropenis."
He also joked about his role as Kylo Ren in the "Star Wars" films "The Force Awakens," "The Last Jedi" and "The Rise of Skywalker." "Kylo kills Han Solo in 'The Force Awakens,' a widely controversial storyline among the 'Star Wars' fandom," writes Variety.
"I would like people to stop coming up to me on the street saying, 'You killed Han Solo!'" he said. "I didn't kill him. Wokeness killed Han Solo."
He came back for the first sketch in which he was coupled with Bowan Yang sitting around with four friends – two straight couples – in a mountain retreat. The skit pokes fun at straight couples boasting about their baby plans. One couple says they're "not pregnant yet but trying for another one," only to be upped by the gay couple with their plans to have a child with neither adoption nor surrogacy in the mix.
"So, are you two just straight-up having sex?" another couple asks them.
"No, not exactly," replies Yang's Daniel.
"Because to us, for now, what feels good, for now, is trying, for us," offers Driver's Jacob, adding, "Well, funny enough, I had a dream where my son came out of my ass – which didn't make any sense!"
"No," corrects Yang. "It would come out his ass."
Throughout the show Driver was in top-tier form. In one of the best, called "Airline Baby," he was an 11-month-old toddler whose tiny body is attached to Driver's huge head – already a funny visual joke. In the skit he is trapped in an airplane seat on a Delta flight. "It's his first," his mom (played by Sarah Sherman) tells a skeptical couple across the aisle. What made the sketch work was Driver's unflinching commitment to his character – in this case a miserably whiny baby with the mouth of a 40-year-old – which made him oddly endearing. When his mom is approached by a flight attendant asking what they would like to drink, Driver has a panic attack. "She's not my mother! Now I'm feeling confused and uncomfortable, and frankly, I miss the womb!" before crying and screaming hysterically.
But the funniest (and crudest) bit was a holiday sketch – "ShopTV Christmas" – set on a home shopping network. Driver plays a Midwestern chocolatier named Dean Delaney pitching his innocent, foil-wrapped chocolate Santa. But when he strips away the foil, it resembles a phallic sex toy that he pushes into the faces of shocked hosts (Mikey Day and Heidi Gardner), lovingly strokes, and in the funniest sight gag. drops two caramel balls on both sides of his chocolate Santa.
"Double entendres and sexual insinuations are almost always going to be funny in sketches like this, but for me, it's Driver's gleeful innocence about the whole thing that really sells it," writes Slash Film critic Ethan Anderton. "The way he cluelessly talks about gobbling down this chocolate Santa had me rolling, and when Day looks concerned about giving it a little nibble, I had another good laugh."
Those with long memories will see it "also feels like distant cousin of a particularly famous moment: The 'NPR Delicious Dish: Schweddy Balls' sketch from 1998. In it, Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer play hyper-polite public radio personalities who earnestly enjoy edible delights from their guest Pete Schweddy (Alec Baldwin), inventor of Schweddy Balls," recalls NBC.
The episode marks Adam Driver's fourth time as the host of "Saturday Night Live," helming the episode alongside musical guest Olivia Rodrigo. Driver first led "SNL" in 2016, when he was joined by Chris Stapleton as musical guest, and returned in 2018 with Kanye West and 2020 with Halsey," reported Variety.
"Driver will soon be seen playing motor racing driver and businessman Enzo Ferrari in 'Ferrari,' a biographical film directed by Michael Mann that also stars Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Sarah Gadon, Gabriel Leone, Jack O'Connell, and Patrick Dempsey. The film premiered earlier this year at the Venice International Film Festival and will hit theaters on Christmas Day."