New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is the next in a long line of sports figures who have tried their hands at hosting “Saturday Night Live.” He graces studio 8A Saturday, May 5 and Wednesday (May 2), he spoke with press about his experience so far.
Unfortunately, there are no tidbits about the sketches he’s doing. Wednesday is actually the first big read-through, where Eli and the cast will spend about four hours reading through 35-40 sketches and narrowing it down. But for Eli, that’s part of the fun. Which is exactly what big bro Peyton Manning and NFL legend John Madden told him.
“From Peyton, he just said just enjoy the week. It’s a lot of fun. It is work and you’re doing something you’re not quite used to doing, but you’re used to doing things live, it’s something you do every week during the football season,” says Eli. “He just said enjoying being with the writers and hang around and follow their guidance. They’re the ones who are funny and know how to do this.”
“John Madden called me. He hosted the show back in the day,” Eli continues. “And he gave me the same piece of advice. He said the fun part is during the week, just being with the cast.”
When Eli and “SNL” head honcho Lorne Michaels, who was also on the conference call, were pressed about which Manning is funnier, they both said that we won’t really know until Saturday. But Eli did add that his brother’s success is the reason he didn’t do “SNL” after he won his first Super Bowl.
“I know after Peyton did the show in 2007, the following year we won the Super Bowl and a request came from ‘Saturday Night Live’ [for me to host] and one of the main reasons I did not do it was ’cause Peyton had done so well the previous year, I thought it might be a little fresh in everyone’s mind,” says Eli.
He definitely has some big shoes to fill, Peyton Manning was a great host – maybe the best sports figure host we’ve ever seen on the show. But Eli says their family grew up fans of the show and he’s excited about his chance. He also chose an all-time favorite sketch.
“Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze dancing in Chippendales, that’s always a classic. If I truly sat down and thought of it, I could think of a Top 10. But that’s one that always kind of pops in my head. Just a classic scene,” says Eli.
Will you be tuning in this Saturday to see how Eli does? “Saturday Night Live” airs Saturday nights at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.