It’s been just over three years since the last time an NFL player hosted Saturday Night Live. In 2020, it was JJ Watt; this time, it was another guy who isn’t the only NFL player in the family. Travis Kelce took to the stage of 30 Rock for a series of sketches that often went into surreal territory.
Sometimes, that didn’t always connect — a sketch where Kelce played a man dining alone at an American Girl Café felt a little undercooked. A Please Don’t Destroy video made better use of Kelce’s physical presence and his relatively laconic demeanor. As a combination self-defense instructor and motivational speaker, Kelce brings both charm and a bit of menace to the role.
This particular Kelce SNL sketch didn’t seem too far removed from the Monty Python sketch where John Cleese plays a self-defense instructor obsessed with people using fruit as a weapon — which, as comedic reference points go, qualifies as high praise in my book.
Watch JJ Watt’s “Madden 21” Recording Session Go Very Wrong on “SNL”Watt showed a welcome penchant for comedy on the show
Another aspect of this SNL sketch that clicks is the way it escalates — both in ways that you’d expect and ways that come completely out of nowhere. And there’s also a bit of implicit criticism of people who take the kind of rhetoric Kelce’s character espouses to absurd lengths thrown in. And it all comes in at under four minutes.