‘SNL’ and Martin Freeman Send ‘The Office’ to Middle-Earth
Since few guest hosts do ‘SNL’ unless they have something new and/or exciting to promote, it was inevitable that the show would do something tied into ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ when Martin Freeman joined the cast for a week. However, the end result was unexpected, endearing, and probably only meant to be fully appreciated by a small portion of the viewing audience: they sent ‘The Office’ to Middle-Earth.
Since countless incarnations of ‘The Office’ have taken root all over the world, it makes sense that J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world would get their own version. Taking place after the events of the ‘Hobbit’ trilogy, the sketch finds Bilbo (Freeman, of course) working at a paper company alongside Gollum (Taran Killam). Gandalf (Bobby Moynihan) is their boss. Awkwardness ensues.
What’s most amusing about all of this is that Freeman was one of the stars of the original BBC version of ‘The Office’ and the sketch plays that up. Those only familiar with the (fun, not nearly as great) American version won’t get the countless in-jokes or understand that Freeman is literally playing his character from the original series, just with more Hobbit make-up. Moynihan does a fairly good job of merging Ricky Gervais’ David Brent with Ian McKellen, but the real star of the show is Killam, whose Gollum is just uncannily good.