If you follow Saturday Night Live or Aquaman star Jason Momoa on social media, then you already know how excited the actor was to be hosting this weekend’s show. He posted several photos and videos on Instagram documenting the week before broadcast, starred in a few short sketches to promote the episode, and even kept a video diary that SNL published on its YouTube page. So after all of this, how did Momoa’s first time as host pan out on Saturday?
It was fine. Considering the hit-or-miss nature of SNL‘s 44th season so far, that this weekend’s entry would be any different was highly unlikely. Co-head writers Michael Che, Colin Jost and Kent Sublette haven’t had the best track record for producing consistent episodes in the past two years. So even with the arrival of someone as excited and larger-than-life as Momoa — a man whose size, excitability and goofiness should be easy fodder for comedy writers — SNL couldn’t make it work all the time.
However, when Momoa’s SNL entry did come together, however, it came together with a bang. From his enthusiastic opening monologue to sketches as weird as “An Extra Christmas Carol,” the Game of Thrones alum put 110 percent into everything the show asked of him. Because of this, Momoa practically saved what would have been one of this season’s more boring episodes. Hopefully, be it to promote the inevitable Aquaman sequel or another future project, the actor will get the chance to host SNL again.
Here are the key moments from last night’s show.
The barefoot monologue
Who bounds onto the Studio 8H stage while barefoot? Jason Momoa, that’s who! The SNL host launches himself into his hosting duties with an opening monologue that acknowledges his physicality (“I am so muscular to be hosting Saturday Night Live. Huge!”) and his love of the show. “It is such an honor to be on this stage,” he says. “I am an SNL super nerd dork. I’ve been watching this my whole entire life.” The rest of the monologue, ’70s disco dance included, is fine, but Momo’s enthusiasm is what sells it.