On SNL, the actor supplied an idiosyncratic antidote to dull winter cheer.
When this week’s Saturday Evening Reside host, Adam Driver, defined in his opening monologue that he had a “very deep and private relationship with Santa,” it was fairly apparent that no matter was to comply with wasn’t going to be your typical vacation cheer.
The Oscar-nominated actor sat down at a piano, demonstrated that he actually may play it, after which began barking his want listing to the jolly man within the North Pole. Amongst his needs for Christmas: “A type of large metallic Tesla vans” that might “pair completely with [his] teeny tiny micropenis.” He additionally revealed that he would love folks to cease coming as much as him on the road saying that he killed Han Solo, given his function as Kylo Ren within the newest Star Wars trilogy. “I didn’t kill Han Solo,” he mentioned. “Wokeness killed Han Solo.”
All through the episode, Driver continued to ship this type of warped model of season’s greetings. Even when he wasn’t taking part in a model of himself, he was throwing himself into characters who had been cranky and obstinate and, frankly, simply bizarre. Whereas some lauded actors come onto SNL to show they are often goofy, Driver, who was internet hosting for the fourth time, makes use of his pure depth to derive laughs from simply how severe he’s. I don’t assume the true Adam Driver, who’s starring as Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann’s Ferrari this 12 months, is actually perturbed about “wokeness” or all that insecure in regards to the dimension of his genitals, however he convincingly performed the function of Adam Driver as a reactionary who believed Santa may assist him with these issues.
As an actor, Driver is thought for his nearly extreme and sometimes idiosyncratic dedication to his craft. A 2019 New Yorker profile described how, when he was learning at Juilliard, he would run 5 miles to high school on daily basis and eat a whole rooster for lunch. One among his most well-known onscreen gestures is punching a wall within the movie Marriage Story throughout an argument. This is able to seemingly make him an odd match for SNL, however as he has proved in his many appearances, he’s really a terrific match for sketch comedy partially as a result of he refuses to deal with the fabric as any lesser than his different work. He could possibly be doing the silliest factor possible and he would nonetheless be stone-faced.
This was particularly noticeable in an episode main into Christmas, the place quite a lot of the sketches had been in regards to the staid traditions that come round this time of 12 months. Take, as an illustration, the pre-taped bit “Previous Buddies.” Mikey Day and Chloe Fineman performed a person and his spouse visiting his mother and father for the vacations. In his childhood bed room, she remarked on an image of him as a child with a former pal. Day’s character determined to succeed in out to mentioned companion, Keith, performed by Driver. At first the interplay appeared candy, however then it turned out that Keith had develop into a intercourse offender and onetime sperm-bank janitor who changed the samples together with his personal sperm, and whose crimes had been the topic of a Netflix documentary. Driver expertly performed Keith as a tragic sack whose loneliness simply matched his menace. As Day wavered between feeling sorry for Keith and being horrified, so did we.
That capability to carry a properly of anger additionally got here up in a sketch the place Driver performed a mustachioed man setting meals on a desk for a vacation gathering whereas saying “beep beep,” as if he was slightly automobile. His niceness was challenged by one other man (Andrew Dismukes) with the identical facial hair who additionally had a penchant for saying “beep beep” as he put down his dish. They reached an deadlock the place they each mentioned “beep beep” on the similar time, and you can really consider, regardless of the softness of his voice, that Driver may need turned to violence if Dismukes didn’t yield.
Nonetheless, maybe the triumph of Driver’s dedication got here throughout a second that eschewed any Christmas theme. Taking part in a creepy child with full command of vocabulary on his first airplane trip, Driver refused to let the truth that he had doll arms take away from his dedication. His screams had been highly effective, and his face when he pooped in his diaper was a masterful show of focus.
You don’t need to be a terrific actor to be a terrific SNL host, however Adam Driver is each as a result of he sees the drama in absurdity. The vacation season is an absurd time of 12 months. Driver, nonetheless, supplied a dose of creepiness as a welcome antidote to saccharine festiveness.