I have to admit: I had my doubts about Eli Manning hosting Saturday Night Live tonight. But the "aw shucks" attitude and expression—which get on the nerves of some NFL fans—works perfectly for late-night sketch comedy.
Manning isn't as good at acting as he is throwing touchdown passes, but his opening monologue about becoming a "real New Yorker" and the slight jab at New Jersey was enjoyable, starting the night on a good note.
And his role as Cheech and Chong's wet-blanket friend, Richard, during the TMC skit was perfect. Who knew Manning would be able to do well in a role as a rich, goody-two-shoes character?
Manning's good-ole-boy style worked well, and I don't think anybody expected him to come out and be as hilarious as other sports figures like Charles Barkley have been on the show, but I've seen worse SNL debuts.
While eldest brother Cooper Manning told NFL.com that he didn't think his brother felt any pressure to entertain, Big Blue's No.10 did look a little nervous at times but then again, if I was trying to make a national audience on a historic television show laugh, I'd probably be a little flustered too.
Look, Manning isn't giving up his day job to go into the comedy game anytime soon, but after so many years of watching Eli and his brother Peyton do not-so-funny commercials and spit a million sports cliches during postgame conferences, it was nice to see the Ole Miss product take a chance and make America chuckle a few times tonight.