Watch JJ Watt’s “Madden 21” Recording Session Go Very Wrong on “SNL”

Watt showed a welcome penchant for comedy on the show

JJ Watt on SNL
JJ Watt had an unexpected "Madden 21" experience on this Saturday Night Live sketch.

The degree to which sports video games can replicate the gameday experience is absolutely fascinating. The realistic sound effects and graphics, combined with players’ voices and likenesses, make it harder and harder to distinguish between actual games and the simulations of them found on your XBox or PS4.

But what might happen if a player’s recording session took a turn for the bizarre? That’s the premise of this Saturday Night Live sketch, in which Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt visits EA Sports to record some dialogue for Madden 21. As you might surmise from the fact that this is a Saturday Night Live sketch and not an actual behind-the-scenes video, things do not go according to plan.

Watt is game — no pun intended — for the increasingly bizarre and self-deprecating lines he’s asked to deliver. At its best, this sketch recalls the glorious weirdness of the Larry David-starring “Kevin Roberts” sketch from a few years ago.

As the AV Club’s recap of this episode notes, athletes have a checkered history of hosting the show — which makes Watt’s willingness to go for broke all the more welcome. It’s worth noting that it isn’t his first foray into televised comedy: he also guest starred on New Girl episode in 2015.

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