The Eerie Depth of Adam Driver on ‘Saturday Evening Dwell’


The actor provided an idiosyncratic antidote to dull winter cheer.

Bowen Yang and Adam Driver laughing
Will Heath / NBC

When this week’s Saturday Evening Dwell host, Adam Driver, defined in his opening monologue that he had a “very deep and private relationship with Santa,” it was fairly apparent that no matter was to observe wasn’t going to be your typical vacation cheer.

The Oscar-nominated actor sat down at a piano, demonstrated that he actually may play it, after which began barking his want listing to the jolly man within the North Pole. Amongst his needs for Christmas: “A type of big metallic Tesla vans” that may “pair completely with [his] teeny tiny micropenis.” He additionally revealed that he would really like individuals to cease coming as much as him on the road saying that he killed Han Solo, given his function as Kylo Ren within the newest Star Wars trilogy. “I didn’t kill Han Solo,” he mentioned. “Wokeness killed Han Solo.”

All through the episode, Driver continued to ship this type of warped model of season’s greetings. Even when he wasn’t taking part in a model of himself, he was throwing himself into characters who had been cranky and obstinate and, frankly, simply bizarre. Whereas some lauded actors come onto SNL to show they are often goofy, Driver, who was internet hosting for the fourth time, makes use of his pure depth to derive laughs from simply how critical he’s. I don’t assume the true Adam Driver, who’s starring as Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann’s Ferrari this yr, is really perturbed about “wokeness” or all that insecure concerning the measurement of his genitals, however he convincingly performed the function of Adam Driver as a reactionary who believed Santa may assist him with these issues.

As an actor, Driver is understood for his nearly extreme and sometimes idiosyncratic dedication to his craft. A 2019 New Yorker profile described how, when he was finding out at Juilliard, he would run 5 miles to high school every single day and eat a whole rooster for lunch. Certainly one of his most well-known onscreen gestures is punching a wall in the film Marriage Story throughout an argument. This could seemingly make him an odd match for SNL, however as he has proved in his many appearances, he’s truly an incredible match for sketch comedy partially as a result of he refuses to deal with the fabric as any lesser than his different work. He might be doing the silliest factor possible and he would nonetheless be stone-faced.

This was particularly noticeable in an episode main into Christmas, the place quite a lot of the sketches had been concerning the staid traditions that come round this time of yr. Take, as an illustration, the pre-taped bit “Old Friends.” Mikey Day and Chloe Fineman performed a person and his spouse visiting his mother and father for the vacations. In his childhood bed room, she remarked on an image of him as a child with a former pal. Day’s character determined to achieve out to mentioned companion, Keith, performed by Driver. At first the interplay appeared candy, however then it turned out that Keith had turn into a intercourse offender and onetime sperm-bank janitor who changed the samples together with his personal sperm, and whose crimes had been the topic of a Netflix documentary. Driver expertly performed Keith as a tragic sack whose loneliness simply matched his menace. As Day wavered between feeling sorry for Keith and being horrified, so did we.

That means to carry a properly of anger additionally got here up in a sketch the place Driver performed a mustachioed man setting meals on a desk for a vacation gathering whereas saying “beep beep,” as if he was just a little automotive. His niceness was challenged by one other man (Andrew Dismukes) with the identical facial hair who additionally had a penchant for saying “beep beep” as he put down his dish. They reached an deadlock the place they each mentioned “beep beep” on the identical time, and you would actually consider, regardless of the softness of his voice, that Driver may need turned to violence if Dismukes didn’t yield.

Nonetheless, maybe the triumph of Driver’s dedication got here throughout a second that eschewed any Christmas theme. Enjoying a creepy child with full command of vocabulary on his first airplane trip, Driver refused to let the truth that he had doll arms take away from his dedication. His screams had been highly effective, and his face when he pooped in his diaper was a masterful show of focus.

You don’t should be an incredible actor to be an incredible SNL host, however Adam Driver is each as a result of he sees the drama in absurdity. The vacation season is an absurd time of yr. Driver, nonetheless, provided a dose of creepiness as a welcome antidote to saccharine festiveness.

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