“The good thing about Saturday Night Live is that you can express a different side that people don’t see. And maybe that’s not you at all times, but for this night you can let loose. That’s one thing I would say about Peyton and I, we don’t mind making fun of myself like letting jokes be at our own expense. It’s important to have that attitude when going into this week.”_ Saturday Night Live: New York Giants Quarterback, Eli Manning Host
Saturday Night Live: New York Giants Quarterback, Eli Manning Host
SNL with Musical Guest, Rhianna.
By: Daedrian McNaughton | Premier Guide Media
Live from New York City is Saturday Night Live with host, New York Giants Quarterback, Eli Manning. With only a 20 minutes drive from Hoboken, New Jersey to New York City Eli adds comedy gig to his roster to host the cult comedy series on NBC. We caught up with Eli to dish on rehearsals and his acting skills.
How did you get to become host?
Eli Manning: After Peyton did the show in 2007, and in the following year, we won the Super Bowl a request came from Saturday Night Live. One of the main reasons I did not do it was because Peyton had done so well the previous year, I thought I might be a little fresh in everyone’s mind, so I didn’t want to have to go up against a tough competition and the great job that he performed. And it just didn’t seem like the right time for me at that situation as well, and just I kind of wanted to keep working on my football and make sure I had some success, but hadn’t really proven myself as much as I wanted to and knew I had some more work to do during the off-season. When I got the invite this year I definitely wanted to try to make it work. And I wanted to do it at one time, and kind of remember saying to Lorne or kind of the message that maybe got back to him, I said, “I do want to do this show at one point. I just want to do it maybe after my next championship.” And so, when this opportunity came up again and we won the championship this year, I definitely wanted to do it. If they asked, I would definitely jump with the opportunity if the timing worked out. And it’s all worked out, and so I’m looking forward to this week.
Are you nervous?
Eli Manning: I’m probably more anxious than anything just to try to figure out what is in front of me and what I will be asked to do.
How is the commute to the city?
Eli Manning: My commute’s been very easy. The good thing about this week is that all the writers and cast have odd hours. It’s not a typical work day. They go in the afternoons and work through the wee hours in the morning. And so, I’ve been able to go in around 3 or 4 o’clock. From Hoboken to Manhattan does not take long. That’s a good thing about it. It only takes15, 20 minutes, so everything’s been very smooth so far.
Were you a SNL fan before becoming a host?
Eli Manning: Yes. Growing up we were always great fans and been watching Saturday Night Live for a long, long time.
What was your favorite skit?
Eli Manning: Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze doing the dancing like the Chippendales. That’s always a classic. That’s one that always kind of pops in my head. But, over the years it’s fun watching. I have a pretty good collection of the best of SNL from several different of the cast members that are always fun to watch and see some of their behind the scenes and some of their tryouts and for the show, and those types of things. I am a fan and watch the show and that style of humor. I appreciate it and it’s what I enjoy to watch.
How is it for you juggling football practices and rehearsals for SNL?
Eli Manning: It’s worked very well, and before I committed to doing Saturday Night Live I’ve got a full schedule. I didn’t want to leave anything out, I didn’t want to have to, go in and out in the same day. I wanted to be totally committed to it if I was going to decide to do it. So, I got a schedule of what when all the meetings and all the times that I would need to be at rehearsals and doing things for the show. And, I looked at what our work week was going to be this week for the Giants, and saw that I would not miss any workouts. I would not miss any time. I’d be able to fully commit to my weight lifting, my meetings, and on the field stuff. So it’s worked well.
Have you had a chance to meet with the cast as yet?
Eli Manning: Monday and Tuesday I’ve gone over to the NBC Studios, the Rockefeller Center and met the cast and the writers and started going through—hearing some ideas of what they will be pitching and trying to get a skit to the show.
Are they very welcoming to you?
Eli Manning: Everybody, the whole cast, and writers have been very nice. I’ve only got to spend a little time with each of them so far, and just hearing some of their ideas and what they’re thinking about doing. It’s been great so far. I’m just about to enter into really the bulk of the workload and looking forward to kind of really getting kick started here. I’ve kind of been doing a few little promos and just sitting down with the writers individually, and you know throwing their kind of ideas.
What are some of the reactions from your teammates on your hosting gig?
Eli Manning: My teammates at workouts they’ve been talking about it and asking what’s going on and excited for me. And so, they’re kind of planning stuff to watch it together, so I think it’s going to be a great experience and great fun.
How did your brother do as host?
Eli Manning: I think I just laughed at everything. I think that’s the good thing about Saturday Night Live is that you can express a different side that people don’t see. And maybe that’s not you at all times, but for this night you can let loose. That’s one thing I would say about Peyton and I, we don’t mind making fun of myself like letting jokes be at our own expense. It’s important to have that attitude when going into this week. And so I enjoyed watching Peyton do the show and being there to experience that, and just seeing how it works.
Who is funnier you or Peyton?
Eli Manning: I think Saturday will tell a lot.
Have you received any advice from your brother, Peyton Manning?
Eli Manning: From Peyton, the main thing he said, “Just enjoy the week.” It is a lot of fun. It is work and you’re doing something you’re not quite used to doing, but he said, “The one thing you are used to doing is live, and that’s something you do every week and during the football season.” So, he said, “Just enjoy being with the writers and try to hang around as much as you can and work with them and just follow guidance. They’re the ones that are funny and know how to do this.” So he just said, “That the fun part of the week, really the time working with the writers and cast and getting to know them.” And so, I’m very excited to test out my acting skills in a sense, or see what happens.
Have you received any advice from past hosts?
Eli Manning: John Madden called me and he hosted a show back in the day, and he wanted to give me the same piece of advice that the fun part is during the week and being with the cast. And he was kind of asking if they did things the same way, kind of the same schedule, routine, and it is. It’s really similar to when he did it, many, many years ago.
Has anyone pulled any pranks on you?
Eli Manning: No, there’s been no pranks so far.