Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce catches the comedy bug, hosts ‘Saturday Night Live’
From playing beneath the bright lights of State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona to acting under the stage lights of studio 8H in New York City, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has enjoyed a whirlwind month.
Just three weeks shy of having won his second Super Bowl, the four-time All-Pro swapped out his championship rings for sketches and wigs — many, many wigs — as host of Saturday Night Live.
Kelce, known nearly as much for his boisterous personality as his football feats, took the stage for his opening monologue dancing to his mark.
“It’s great to be here,” he said to the cheering crowd. “If you don’t know, I just won my second Super Bowl. Which was amazing, but for me, hosting SNL is that much better, baby! I’m lying to you all. I’m lying, I’m kidding. Winning the Super Bowl was way better. But seriously, I’m honored that SNL asked me to host.”
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After delivering a spot-on impression of teammate Patrick Mahomes, he pivoted to his family.
“Probably the coolest thing about this Super Bowl is that my whole family was there,” Kelce said. “I got to play against my brother Jason, who is an Eagle. And my mom was on TV more than both of us. My mom, dad and brother are all here tonight.
“You know, people keep asking me what it was like to beat my brother in the Super Bowl. And it was pretty awkward. Especially because after the game we had to ride home together. Our mom drove us there in a minivan. Just like the good old days. Even though his team lost after being up 10 points at half, my brother is actually really happy for me.”
The camera, of course, cut to a stone-faced Jason.
Travis carried on, waxing poetic about watching the show growing up and promising to “give it everything I got.”
He did that and more. The tight end continued a long line of NFL players to host the famed sketch comedy show. Starting with Fran Tarkenton in 1977 down to quarterbacks like Tom Brady and brothers Peyton and Eli Manning, he is the latest NFL player to host SNL since defensive end J.J. Watt did so in February 2020, one day before the Kelce captured his first Super Bowl win.
Far from a wooden or tongue-tied performer, Kelce took to Saturday’s hosting duties at 30 Rockerfeller Plaza as naturally as he would a fall Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Kelce’s first skit placed him at an American Girl doll café, wearing a pink suit and a slick blonde wig, surrounded by families while dining alone with his two dolls (to the horror of the waitstaff). In his second appearance, he played self-defense expert Kurt Lighting. His blonde wig had grown to a shoulder-length flow. His unorthodox teaching methods involved knocking out two-thirds of the comedy trio, “Please Don’t Destroy,” and later sweeping the legs of all three to allow their own interns to dump coffee on them.
He was game for everything the cast threw at him and never had to resort to skits that put him in the comfort zone of playing himself or returning to the football field.
The next sketch saw him deliver a Weekend at Bernie’s-inspired eulogy as a man-bunned nurse and romantic partner of a much-older decedent. Then, he starred as a straight male friend in an infomercial.
His fifth skit welcomed a guest. Although the Chiefs hinted on twitter Friday that Kansas City offensive lineman Creed Humphrey would join the show, he was nowhere to be seen. It was a different center who showed up.
Kelce, playing a man named Graham, ran into Abby, a one-date ex whose tears flowed freely at learning he had become engaged. He nearly broke character multiple times as the mechanism rigged up to make Abby cry shot tears haphazardly around the set, but the real punchline came when she introduced her new boyfriend, played by Jason.
Jason, two years Travis’ senior, asked Abby if he needed to beat “this guy” up because he “definitely could.”
Thereafter, he played a mulleted, tracksuit-wearing felon named Sucre Wolodarksy, who had broken up a marriage and sat idly by as the couple informed their three children through an in-home karaoke performance.
He got in the way of a fledgling dating app relationship next, and then closed the show with a spoof of the reality show, Too Hot to Handle, putting him in familiar territory — Kelce hosted his own reality show, Catching Kelce, in 2016, which he mocked in self-deprecating fashion during his opening monologue.
Kelce signed off standing between musical guest Kelsea Ballerini and his brother. He thanked the both of them, the cast, Lorne Michaels and the writers before the show cut for time. Perhaps so much good material from Kelce contributed to the show running long, and perhaps the abrupt ending will leave fans wanting him to return for more sometime in the future.
A two-time Super Bowl champion with a laundry list of accolades and records, Kelce can now add “successful SNL host” to the ever-growing resume.
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