Peter Dinklage spiked his debut hosting Saturday Night Live in an unforgettable episode that was all about pants: Celebrating them with song and dance, or dropping them.
Dinklage was paired up with a belligerent, unclothed SNL cast member, Leslie Jones, in a parody of Naked and Afraid Celebrity Edition that left Twitter screeching with headlines and Mediate.com’s writer Tommy Christopher commenting on “the ancient tradition of size-disparate comedy teams.”
“The result featured some hilarious, if unsettling, visuals that you cannot un-see.”
As the late, great Groucho Marx might very well point out, Peter Dinklage may be the first actor since Peter O’Toole to have a double phallic name. While Jones fails to make note of this, the intimation is always there. Throughout the episode, she insists on calling him “Tyrion.” When he asks why, she shouts, “Just keepin’ it real.”
When Dinklage grudgingly drops trou, Jones roars, “Let me just start off by sayin’, you’re packin’!”
— Stankin Rankin (@Stankin_Rankin) April 3, 2016
Jones, whose unabashed presence will light up the new Ghostbusters movie, comes on like a charging war horse. DigitalSpy commented, “While we’re more used to seeing Peter Dinklage fight to survive on Game of Thrones, last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live proved the actor can hold his own just as much as Tyrion Lannister.”
“During his 21 days in the wilderness fighting to survive with nothing other than a fire-starter kit and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, Dinklage also had to try to fight off the come-ons of his ‘horn-dog’ partner and avoid being eaten by her.”
Was an honor 2 work with this man! Mr. Peter Dinklage ladies and gents!! Was literally one of the best people ever! pic.twitter.com/xoCAqpn84X
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) April 3, 2016
As if the Naked and Afraid stint wasn’t testament enough to Dinklage’s fearlessness, he followed up with “Mafia Meeting,” a bizarre sketch about a stage performer in a nightclub where some gangsters are trying to strike a deal. Things are getting heated between the gangsters, and one of them is waving a gun around.
Dinklage is poised on stage, dressed in a metallic jacket and wearing a wig that looks like something Carol Channing donated to Goodwill.
“Look at my pants, with eyes in your face, my legs are covered, in outer space! Space pants!”
In an article about the SNL episode, Rolling Stone’s Ryan McGee said, “I can’t defend this choice in any intellectual manner.”
“All I know is Peter Dinklage screaming about space pants while looking like David Bowie and sounding like early-80’s Devo is comedy gold.”
McGee added, “There are lots of things that go into making a great SNL host, and one of them is putting an entire sketch on his or her back and lifting the entire endeavor from the depths of mediocrity. It’s one thing for a cast member to do it, but it’s something else altogether when a host can do it.”
“Dinklage was so committed that he basically made up for the dull, mistake-riddled intro and Gwen Stefani’s flubs, as well.”
And of course, there was the expected Game of Thrones spoof, with a behind-the-scenes parody. Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons keep ruining everything. Or, not the actual dragons, but rather, the guy who plays the CGI model for the dragons. Bobby Moynihan is the model, and instead of screeching like a dragon, he can’t seem to resist the urge to run a commentary on the shoot, while photobombing the actors. He ends the scene with peeing in his high-tech outfit.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) April 3, 2016
This episode will be remembered as one of SNL‘s best.
As Tyrion might say, touché.
Catch Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones when Season 6 airs April 24th on HBO.
[Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images]