When Saturday Evening Reside introduced that Timothée Chalamet can be internet hosting on November 11, it regarded like an act of optimism. Up till then, the present had dodged the Display Actors Guild–strike guidelines towards promotion this season by bringing on both hosts with nothing to promote (the alum Pete Davidson) or artists whose work didn’t fall underneath the contract in query (the musician Unhealthy Bunny and the comic Nate Bargatze).
However Chalamet was totally different. If the strike had gone on, Chalamet would’ve appeared with a chocolate-making proverbial elephant hanging out within the room. In December he has an enormous studio film popping out, the Charlie and the Chocolate Manufacturing facility prequel musical, Wonka, which is precisely the type of movie actors hit up SNL to shill.
Final week, nonetheless, the actors reached a take care of the Alliance of Movement Image and Tv Producers and the strike formally ended on Thursday. So when Chalamet took the stage final evening for his monologue, it was a celebration that doubled as a return to enterprise as ordinary. He wasted no time, reminding the viewers not solely that they’ll purchase tickets for Wonka, which is out December 15, but additionally that he can sing and twirl nicely sufficient to play the famed character from Roald Dahl’s guide.
“Now the strike is over,” he started, because the twinkly sounds of the Wonka-theme “Pure Creativeness” kicked in. “It’s like we’re all returning to this magical world the place actors can as soon as once more speak about their initiatives.” As he sang, he amended the lyrics: “Include me, and also you’ll be in a world of shameless self-promotion.” He cracked jokes in regards to the union’s battle for protections towards synthetic intelligence. “You realize, after spending 118 days enthusiastic about AI, it’s so refreshing to be right here amongst actual human beings,” he mentioned, making a girl within the viewers giggle as he took a seat subsequent to her and commented on how she smelled “nice.”
For hosts on SNL, “shameless self-promotion” is normally the secret. An actor takes the gig to coincide with a film premiere or an awards run. Positive, they get to indicate off their comedian chops, however there’s a function behind it—a function that had been largely lacking from the primary three episodes of the present season. To be clear, there was one thing virtually quaint and nice a couple of run of hosts who had been kind of simply … there to be there (although Unhealthy Bunny did have a brand new album out). Final evening was a return to normalcy for SNL, and a sport of catch-up. Chalamet needed to each cheer on his fellow union members and launch what was primarily a advertising marketing campaign that was a bit delayed.
The Wonka-themed “old-timey stuff,” as outlined by the solid member Marcello Hernandez, was shortly disbursed, and Chalamet continued the evening signaling that he can be a youthful, hipper Willy Wonka than Gene Wilder earlier than him. With Hernandez, he launched right into a livid rap about having a “child face” that featured the refrain, “I’ve obtained a child face, however my hips don’t lie / say I’m a foul child, bitch, I’m a foul man.”
Music was a theme of the evening—however not precisely the music you’d count on from Willy Wonka. It was clear from the shift in the course of the monologue that Chalamet is extra snug rapping than crooning, even when the present did write him a brand new equine ode for a sketch devoted to a dystopian “Big Horse,” a follow-up to his “Tiny Horse” ballad from 2020.
Instantly, Chalamet reprised his fashionable character from his earlier look on SNL, the Gen Z rap star named $mokecheddathaassgetta, a twerp with pink hair and no sense of historical past. The character confirmed up on a sketch titled “Museum of Hip-Hop Panel,” the place the efficiency of his tune “Cling Cling Cling” obtained him spanked by Kenan Thompson enjoying Cornel West. Chalamet, whose very personal high-school rap about statistics has gone viral, is relaxed enjoying the position of insolent teen, capturing the bratty aesthetics of a clueless TikToker who thinks he can spit bars.
Afterward, Chalamet swayed his hips in one other sketch that outlined him as a youth whisperer. He portrayed the queer pop star Troye Sivan as a “sleep demon” who contaminated the mind of a straight lady performed by Sarah Sherman. He obtained squeals from the group as he confirmed off his “tiny little pink lingerie.” It was a bit which may have been onerous to elucidate to anybody who wasn’t aware of Sivan’s sultry movies, however it nonetheless supplied an image of Chalamet as somebody right down to attempt stylish “choreo.”
Now that Chalamet truly can promote Wonka, he appears to pay attention to the problem he’s going to face in that position. He’s in an enormous splashy film aimed toward kids, primarily based on a property that feels staid and overdone. He’s lastly free to speak about it, however he has to additionally reassure his fanbase: Don’t fear. He’s nonetheless cool.