SNL: Timothée Chalamet introduces the world to Tiny Horse in his debut

Timothee Chalamet (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Timothee Chalamet (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images) /

Timothée Chalamet was fully committed (and charming as usual) in his Saturday Night Live hosting debut.

I was surprised to learn that Timothée Chalamet has never hosted Saturday Night Live before. While he isn’t known for comedic acting, he’s effortlessly likable and charming enough to be a great host. Plus, his character in Lady Bird could certainly have come right out of an SNL sketch. He also appeals to a wide demographic, since he’s a millennial superstar who’s mostly known for roles in Oscar-bait, dramatic films.

Unsurprisingly, Chalamet was at his best on Saturday Night Live when he could just be his endearing self, like in the monologue, or when he could really show off his acting chops, like in the best sketch of the night, “Tiny Horse.” He struggled more in sketches that required him to play over the top characters, like “Rap Roundtable” and “Sportsmax.”

He acted opposite Pete Davidson in both sketches, and it served as a great example of the difference between being a great actor and a great sketch comedian. Chalamet was more convincing than Davidson at playing the characters, but Davidson was much better at making them funny.

All in all though, Chalamet did a commendable job as host, and I’d be happy to see him return to SNL soon. Here were his best sketches.

Saturday Night Live with Timothée Chalamet highlights: Coronavirus Holiday

I’ll be honest, I was prepared to hate this sketch when it first started and I saw Beck Bennett and Cecily Strong with coronavirus particles on their heads. It looked like it was going to be the kind of “lowest common denominator” humor that SNL has mostly avoided this season.

However, the sketch won me over. It wasn’t clever (the premise truly was just “what if COVID-19 was a family?”) and it was full of corny jokes, but somehow it just worked.  A lot of credit goes to the cast, who fully committed to their roles. Melissa Villaseñor was hilarious as Spanish Influenza a.k.a. Grandma, and Andrew Dismukes did a great job in the biggest role he’s gotten to date.

Saturday Night Live with Timothée Chalamet highlights: December to Remember Car Commercial

This was a classic Saturday Night Live commercial parody, through and through. There wasn’t anything surprising or groundbreaking about it, but it was just very well-made. It started with a solid premise (how come the wives in car commercials are never annoyed that their husbands bought a car without consulting them?), and Bennett did a great job of escalating the situation. The best part came when Bennett pulled a beer out of nowhere and cracked it open at nine in the morning on Christmas day.

Best line: “Yeah well it was beginning to look a lot like savings at my local Lexus dealer!”

Saturday Night Live with Timothée Chalamet highlights: Dionne Warwick Talk Show 

This sketch was basically just a vehicle for celebrity impressions, and it worked pretty well. Ego Nwodim was delightful as usual, and she did a great job playing the equally delightful Dionne Warwick. Timothée Chalamet did a very solid Harry Styles impression (I wasn’t too far off when I predicted he would act in a sequel to Styles’ “Sara Lee” sketch from last season), and Melissa Villaseñor sang as Billie Eilish, which is always excellent.

The best part, however, was definitely Chloe Fineman’s spot-on Timothée Chalamet impression. This has to be up there with her Drew Barrymore character as one of the funniest impressions I’ve ever seen on Saturday Night Live.

Saturday Night Live with Timothée Chalamet highlights: Tiny Horse

This was amazing. Timothée Chalamet is obviously not a singer, but he really pulled this one off. Somehow, his voice was actually perfect for the part. This was also his funniest role of the episode — the part where he yells at the horse to “git” was hysterical. The animation department also deserves a lot of praise for this one.

Best sketch of the night.

More thoughts on Saturday Night Live with Timothée Chalamet

  • There’s been a lot of talk about Timothée Chalamet and Pete Davidson’s comedic chemistry, but Beck Bennett played Timothée Chalamet’s dad three times in this episode and each time was better than the last. That’s a pair I’d like to see work together again.
  • There were so many instances earlier this season when I wished the show would give more roles to new repertory player Ego Nwodim instead of former cast member Maya Rudolph. This time, however, I would have loved to see Maya Rudolph reprise her role as Dionne Warwick from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
  • My favorite line from the whole episode was also the first line of the night, when Wolf Blitzer (Beck Bennett) called himself “an indoor man with an outdoor name.”
  • The second best line came a few minutes later when Dr. Deborah Birx (Heidi Gardner) announces that the COVID vaccine will come in “Coors Light cold activated cans.”
  • We haven’t had nearly enough Kyle Mooney this season. I nearly lost it when he said “No sir, it’s penis and balls of course!” in the “Holiday Baking Championship” sketch.
  • Okay, one more joke: Jeremy Lin as “the new face of Space Jam… by Smuckers.” Chef’s kiss.

Related Story. How John Mulaney's SNL monologue caused a Secret Service investigation. light

What did you think of Timothée Chalamet’s Saturday Night Live debut? What was your favorite sketch of the night? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.