Jason Bateman hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time in 15 years, and his monologue got right to talking about the last time he did a monologue in Studio 8H. While the cold open and Weekend Update focused on current events, Bateman got a bit nostalgic talking about the time a monkey nearly bit his face off.
“It is very very great to be back hosting SNL for the second time. The first time was 15 years ago so you know I made a hell of an impression, Bateman said during the monologue. “Honestly I was just too busy I had not one free Saturday for 15 years but I finally freed up.”
Bateman did explain, though, that “something kinda weird” happened to him last time he hosted. As he detailed, he was in a sketch called “Monkeys Throwing Poop At Celebrities,” and the show used a real primate for the sketch. That creature was on stage after the show, when everyone hugs it out and says goodbye for the night.
“We’re all hugging, saying goodbye, the credits are rolling and then the monkey tried to kill me,” Bateman said. “The chimp unhinges his jaw, flashes the teeth and tries to bite my entire nose off.”
As Bateman explained, the animal got a bit territorial because it got directly in its face, and lashed out in response. The actual video of the incident played during the segment, so you know he’s not kidding. And the monologue is funny, if only to see his reaction to the moment compared with what he was actually thinking.
“I’m smiling, but inside I’m thinking a monkey just attacked me and nobody cares,” Bateman said.
There are some pretty wild reactions to the moment, despite Bateman downplaying the reaction to it. Rachel Dratch, for one, looks as horrified as Bateman claims he actually was. Bateman said the animal was later “destroyed,” joking “it was my choice, lessons have to be learned” despite the fact that the two creatures apparently did meet up after the show to make things right.
Bateman stressed that the monkey is “still alive” at the very end of the sketch, so nobody has to feel all that bad about the jokes. But it certainly made for an interesting story. And, for the record, there was no monkey waiting for him to bump elbows with after Saturday’s show.