Saturday Night Live
Travis Kelce & Kelsea Ballerini
March 5, 2023
Every so often, Saturday Night Live feels compelled to invite an athlete to host the show, and most of the time, it’s a disaster. Athletes are not comedians — they aren’t even actors (well, I mean aside from European soccer players but that’s a whole other story) — and as such, performing on a live comedy television show is a huge ask. It’s a huge ask for anyone, but it’s a particularly huge ask for people who are not usually expected to speak in public that often. In fact, there have only been a handful of athletes who have managed to pull it off; notably, Peyton Manning, Charles Barkley, John Cena, The Rock, and Houston’s beloved J.J. Watt. And two of those five were professional wrestlers, who might as well have been soap opera actors.
To the disappointment of all Eagles fans out there, it looks like we’re going to have to add two-time Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce to the list of successes. Despite being a football player by trade, Kelce is a natural comedian: he is charming, has good comic timing, and is willing to mock the concept of himself as some sort of masculine ideal. He turns out to be the perfect foil for jokes about toxic masculinity because he so openly challenges those stereotypes. I never would have guessed that an athlete would have delivered one of the best SNL‘s this season, but dammit, here we are.
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