SNL: Peter Dinklage Recruits George R.R. Martin to Write His Opening Monologue
Peter Dinklage hosting last night’s SNL meant that the upcoming sixth season of Game of Thrones hung over the entire evening like a specter. Even when the show wasn’t specifically calling out and calling upon HBO’s series, you were constantly aware of it. After all, why else would Dinklage be hosting the show at this specific time? But when the show did turn its aim on Game of Thrones, it was on-point with an opening monologue where Dinklage asks A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin to write some jokes.
It’s a simple enough set-up and well-executed. Martin (played with aplomb by Bobby Moynihan) is in the audience and he’s written some gags for Dinklage’s big monologue. Naturally, Martin’s tendencies don’t always align with what SNL can do, or what it wants to do, and comedic hijinks ensue. It’s fairly straightforward material, but it’s pulled off with the right amount of absurdity. And, of course, there’s a joke about Martin taking far too long to finish The Winds of Winter.
But the scene is really about how the other SNL performers react to what Martin asks them to do, with Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer having divergent reactions to being asked to disrobe and the incredible Leslie Jones doing the best half-assed dragon you’ll ever see. It’s a shame this doesn’t run the length of so many bad SNL opening monologues, but it also gets in and gets the job done without overstaying its welcome.