Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Eli on SNL? Oh, brother!
Eli Manning admitted he is a tad “anxious’’ about hosting “Saturday Night Live’’ May 5, given that he “might be doing something that’s a little bit out of my character and uncomfortable.’’
Ya think? But that’s OK. As everyone from Derek Jeter (who dressed in drag) to Eli’s brother Peyton (who showed children how to break into an SUV) has learned, that is part of the point.
Manning will join a long list of athlete/hosts that began with Fran Tarkenton, a former Giants quarterback, in 1977, followed a year later by O.J. Simpson.
But he knows that for many, Peyton’s March, 2007, appearance is the gold standard. Eli has discussed the rehearsal schedule with Peyton but said his brother has not sent him a copy of his classic United Way commercial parody.
“No, but I have obviously seen it before,’’ said Eli, who had a cameo in Peyton’s show. “That was a good one. So hopefully I can have one as popular as that one.’’
Good luck with that. Here is one man’s list of best SNL skits featuring athletes:
1. Peyton Manning, March 24, 2007. In a taped United Way commercial, Manning throws footballs at children, curses up a storm and tries to jimmy the lock on an SUV.
2. Derek Jeter, Dec. 1, 2001. Dressed in drag as Alfonso Soriano’s wife, Jeter’s character observes that Jeter “looks like if The Rock had sex with a Muppet.’’
3. Michael Jordan, Sept. 28, 1991. Self-help advisor Stuart Smalley sits down with Jordan and gives him advice on maintaining confidence and self-esteem.