Jason Sudeikis brought his ‘Ted Lasso’ earnestness to a heartfelt ‘SNL’ monologue
Saturday Night Live host Jason Sudeikis nailed the inexplicable success of his Apple TV+ hit Ted Lasso in a monologue joke: “It’s truly shocking to me because it’s built around two things Americans hate: soccer and kindness.”
There wasn’t a whole lot of the former in this monologue, but an earnest sort of kindness — that should feel familiar to fans of Lasso — did take centerstage in Sudeikis’ opening set. Instead of indulging in the usual rapid-fire deluge of one-liners, the former SNL cast member paused during the back half of his monologue to really take in the surroundings of the show’s famed Studio 8H.
“This place is historic. Just, for a second, look around. Like for real,” he said. “Think about all the brilliance that’s happened in here.” He then goes on an extended riff of referencing famous sketches, from Wild and Crazy Guys to Wayne’s World; SNL heroes “[Chris] Farley, Gilda [Radner], Eddie [Murphy], Tina [Fey]”; and musical legends like Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, and Kanye West.
He quickly wheels back into the humor stuff, self-deprecatingly reassuring first-time viewers that this particular episode “probably won’t change your life.” But the earnest Sudeikis lingers. It’s what makes Lasso so special, and this revealing monologue gives us a glimpse of why the specific actor behind that character makes it work in a way that no one else could.