SNL has been delivering with its short-form video sketches the past few seasons. James Franco’s appearance continued the trend with “Christmas Charity.” But for those watching live, the eventual payoff for the segment probably seems quite familiar.
On SNL, Franco is a homeless man befriended by Cecily Strong, a career woman that sees him through the window of a nearby coffee shop and decides to change his life for a moment. She showers him with some gifts, starting with coffee before ramping up to inviting him home to get his life back on track. There’s also a carriage ride, some phone throwing, and a few hot dog shenanigans thrown in there, but things really pick up when Strong wants to get Franco a job and tries to shave him.
That’s when the fantasy crumbles and Franco reveals he needs the beard. He’s really James Franco and the homeless getup is preparation for a role. He’s just used to people giving him free things, so that’s why he went along with his new lady friend’s shopping spree. The tone quickly shifts and she tries to get him to leave, but not before he manages to plug The Disaster Artist before walking away from her apartment. He’s got Oscar buzz, after all.