When it was announced that Russell Crowe would host Saturday Night Live on April 9, heads were scratched. I mean, Crowe isn't necessarily known for his comic styling, you know? The super-serious actor is much better known for his dramatic roles. So, when Russell Crowe got up for his SNL monologue, he addressed those concerns right away. He cheekily acknowledged that he's known for his comedies, then set up a clip of a supposedly hilarious scene that he starred in. Instead of a funny clip, he showed a scene from Gladiator with a gruesome killing in it. After the clip, he said he wanted another comedy that he starred in to be called The Nutty Professor, but it was taken, so they actually had to go with A Beautiful Mind.
The person who actually got the butt of many of Crowe's monologue jokes was Ryan Gosling, Crowe's co-star in The Nice Guys. Crowe started off the show by plugging the movie, then saying, "My co-star is a beautiful young woman named Ryan Gosling." After that, he added that Gosling was the reason that Crowe hosted the show, because he saw Gosling host in December, and then realized that anyone could do it.
All in all, it worked pretty well. Crowe showed that he actually has a sense of humor — something you wouldn't necessarily get from either his movies or his in-person interviews — and that he's capable of making fun of himself. That's definitely in direct contrast to his public persona, where he seems more angry than funny. The Nice Guys doesn't come out until May, but it's nice to see Crowe crack a joke before then. Maybe he has a career in comedy coming to him after all. You never know.
Image: Dana Edelson/NBC