Kicking off the night of Saturday Night Live’s March 5 episode was the Moon Knight himself: Oscar Isaac. During Oscar Isaac’s SNL monologue, the actor talked about his excitement around being cast as a superhero in Disney’s ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. “It’s kind of a full circle moment because the first movie I was ever in was called The Avenger ... which is a movie I wrote, directed, and starred in when I was 10 years old,” he joked, referencing the MCU’s 2012 Avengers film. “It was shot on vacation in my buddy’s backyard in our hometown of Miami, Florida. I played a ninja assassin training to find his nemesis.”
Isaac then showed actual footage of the film, which featured him doing martial arts — or at least, trying to — and slowly karate-chopping a very thin piece of wood. “Arguably better than the real Avengers,” he said, and added that compared to the actual Marvel film, his was made for “half the budget, only $110 million,” he said. “But I took it really seriously.”
He then showed more footage, which included his friend’s dad in a cameo role as he cleaned the pool in the background — “shoutout to Mr. Ferguson!” Isaac added that his buddy had no idea the old home movie was going to be shown during SNL, and he actually had to sign a licensing agreement just to air it. “NBC Universal now owns The Avenger... coming this fall to Peacock!” he said.
He showed a third clip, where he played both the hero and the bad guy. He pretended to stab himself, and ended the clip by licking blood off his play sword. “Total commitment from the start,” he said. He then explained that the reason he showed the home video was because he thinks it’s important to “encourage kids to be weirdos. Because every once in a while, one of those weirdos grows up to host SNL.”
At the start of his monologue, Isaac also talked about his experience moving through Hollywood as a Latino man. He revealed that his full name is “Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada,” and that when he first entered into the business, he was told to pick two names to use. “Guess what they went with: the white ones,” he said. He also explained that he’s half-Cuban, half-Guatemalan, “or as casting directors call that, ethnically ambiguous.” According to them, he said, he can play anything from “a pharaoh” — poking fun at his role as Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse — to “Timothée Chalamet’s daddy. You know that joke, a priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar? Yeah, I can play anyone in that joke,” he said.
Though tonight was his first time hosting, Isaac has graced the halls of Studio 8H before. Last October, the actor appeared as himself — dressed loosely as a pirate — during a Halloween edition of “What Up With That?” In the skit, Isaac tried to talk about how his characters resonated with him and why he was drawn to certain projects, but he was never about to complete a sentence because Kenan Thompson’s Diondre Cole kept interrupting him to begin a musical number. But now, Isaac finally has the stage all to himself.