NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 07: Quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants speaks on stage as the team is honored at City Hall Plaza following a ticker-tape parade in Manhattan for the second time in four years after winning the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots on February 7, 2012 in New York City. The Giants beat the Patriots 21-17 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on February 5. The New York parade started at Battery Place and continued through the financial district, an area known as the "Canyon of Heroes," to be followed by a rally at their home MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Since the start of last night's Saturday Night Live featuring Eli Manning as guest host began with a hilarious spoof of Fox News, in which part of it was poking fun at "full disclosure," I'm going to disclose a few things to you now before talking about Manning's performance--1) I fell asleep before the show began and had to watch it just now; 2) I don't watch SNL all that often so I'm not the best judge on how funny it really is; and 2a) I don't know the names of all of the players. Whew. Okay, now that you know I'm an old fart, let's just say I do have a sense of humor and I know funny when I see it.
But last night, the best part of Eli hosting SNL may have been the start of the show, when he was introduced. I'd be lying if I said I didn't get goosebumps. As you might expect, the guy got a huge ovation....I wonder why that is? Eli had David Diehl and Chris Snee and the rest of his offensive line in attendance, and used them as a prop to his opening routine, as he also did with his wife Abby. The skit was Eli jokingly answering questions in the audience about what to do in New York now that he's lived in the north for eight or so years.
The first skit was one about EA Sports' Madden game, and had different NFL "players" auditioning. Unfortunately for Manning, the funniest one was of the guy playing Ray Lewis, not him....and the fact that the dudes auditioning him couldn't get him to be funny was sort of a running theme. I hate to admit this, but Eli was not nearly as funny as Peyton was in 2007. Of course, there were moments--and part of the charm was that they had Manning in all kinds of crazy situations--an Occupy activist; a dude on trial for murder who had an alibi of being home alone and texting random women in his phone; a regular dude on a game show who was set up by the game's hostess as her boyfriend that was more interested in him than he was in her; as a Swedish version of himself in a Swedish spoof on Chelsea Lately; a drag queen; and finally as a "third member" of the Cheech & Chong movies including "Up in Smoke." We know Manning has a goofy side, but the writers may not have really brought that out enough.
Oh, and maybe the best skit was a "commercial" in which Manning was pimping an outfit called "Little Brothers," a play on Big Brothers and also a play on the skit they did with Peyton about the United Way--and of course, the theme was little brother envy. That was pretty classic.
The show also featured musical guest Rihanna, and also appearances by Martin Scorsese and Sasha Baron Cohen in the same skit. And I'm not going to say the show was not funny as a whole--it was, and Manning performed admirably in what clearly was not his usual element. it's just that you really wanted it to be taken to another level humor-wise, and it never was. But hey, at least he's still our quarterback. And he has one more ring than his big brother.