Jake Gyllenhaal is currently promoting Ambulance, Michael Bay’s “small movie” - LOL, by Michael Bay standards, I guess that’s true. Jake was at the premiere the other night and this weekend he is returning to Studio 8H, the home of Saturday Night Live. Over the years, he’s made a few cameos, sure, and I think most recently when John Mulaney hosted in 2020, but he hasn’t actually been the guest host since 2007 when he memorably, during the opening monologue, went full Dreamgirls in a sparkly dress and a wig with his biceps bursting, as Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, and Kristen Wiig backed him up.
So it’s definitely been a while, and there’s definitely some anticipation – because, well, a lot has happened since then. Back then it was a couple of years after Brokeback Mountain, he hadn’t yet made his blockbuster push yet with Prince of Persia before rerouting back to more character-driven pieces. It was near the beginning of his two-year relationship with Reese Witherspoon. And, no, Taylor Swift wasn’t in the picture then. Not that any of this would be material for the show. My point is that it’ll be interesting to compare his performance then to the one we’re about to see. I’ve personally had a front row seat to the curmudgeon AF side of his personality but his reputation, generally, is that he’s game, a funny person with good comedic timing, who is comfortable in a live improv environment, someone who’s probably fun to write for, and someone who’s definitely open to a musical sketch. My guess is that there will be some singing and that whatever Jake serves on Saturday night, Twitter will be crushing on him yet again despite, you know, all the other sh-t about him that we’d rather not talk about.
What I will talk about here is his versatility – he really IS a versatile performer. Much more versatile than, say, ahem, Leonardo DiCaprio who has never done SNL. For all the incessant fawning over Leo that happens all the f-cking time, to me, he has one lane, one and a half max. There’s no “multi” where Leo is concerned as an artist. Which is fine. Not everyone has to be everything. But if we’re considering members of a cohort, lead male American movie stars, he’s really not the one with the most range.