By Matt Napolitano, Humor Columnist
I don't care what anyone says, SNL has drastically improved over the past two or three years. I find myself DVRing the show and watching it on Sunday afternoon (I'm 21 and it's Saturday night, I have a life) and actually getting some solid laughs.
Last week, Saturday Night Live announced the next new episode would be May 5th. The host: Super Bowl champion quarterback Eli Manning.
That's right, Eli is once again following in his big brother's footsteps and taking the stage at Studio 8H at Rockefeller Center. SNL has a great legacy of athletes hosting their show from Derek Jeter's Taco Hole to Charles Barkley's Donkey Basketball Camp. From Shaq taking a spanking from Tracy Morgan to Joe Montana being chastised by the Church Lady, athletes tend to bring their A-game to sketch comedy.
So once I found out about the Elite One getting a shot at SNL, I started thinking of possible sketches to make Manning look like a champ in late night TV.
COLD OPEN: Sorry, Eli, not really common for the host to be in the opening sketch. Plus, I really don't see a man whose IQ has repeatedly come into question by Giants fans holding his own in a sketch about Mitt Romney or President Obama or whatever political shenanigans are going on.
OPENING MONOLOGUE: Since Peyton has hosted before, it just reignites the sibling rivalry we've seen in Oreo and ESPN commercials. Eli may have two Super Bowl rings, but many will argue Peyton is the better overall quarterback, which brings the idea of a rousing rendition of "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" between the two brothers, and maybe Cooper Manning can contribute a little as well. Ah, brotherly love.
TEBOWMANIA: Eli just won his second Super Bowl, but he's not the media darling quarterback of New York. That title belongs to Gang Green's new backup Tim Tebow. After his short-lived enjoyment of the spotlight, Eli goes on a quest to make the headlines again. He brokers peace talks with Syria. He helps to lower the unemployment rate. He finds the body of Jimmy Hoffa. However, he still finds the top story of the evening is the messiah Tebow eating a calzone or finding a penny on 6th Avenue. Poor Eli, can't catch a break.
MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER: Eli knows how to win, so why not have him show people how to be elite? Have him give a speech on the ways of winning to a high school or a college team. Sex, drugs and alcohol. That's the key to a championship and a key to being a loved sports figure in New York. I'm Joe Namath and I approve this message.
BATTLESHIP: Rihanna will be the musical guest that night and she actually has a movie coming out, "Battleship". That's right, they are making a movie off the board game, Battleship. C-7... D-4... F-3... THIS MOVIE IS GOING TO BE A MISS! Regardless, I think a great SNL digital short would feature Rihanna and Eli in an intense game of Battleship. Throw in Andy Samberg as a commentator for good measure. Should be worth a chuckle.
WEEKEND UPDATE: Point-counterpoint. Seth Meyers, Weekend Update anchor and notoriously lover of Boston sports, versus Eli Manning in a Giants-Patriots debate. Guest cameos by Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul. Hey, I'm down with JPP, yeah, you know me.
CINCO DE MAYO: Eli Manning as a frat guy making bad decisions on Cinco De Mayo. Bueno!
OREO COMMERCIAL: Eli and Peyton back together to shoot an Oreo ad with different athletes and celebrities. Who doesn't want to see Ryan Leaf endorse sandwich cookies? No one? Well, there's other sports figures in the news worth sponsoring Nabisco.
End of show. Oh, and all of these are copyrighted, but if anybody using this as a tablecloth right now knows anyone at NBC, I am graduating and I need to pay off the arm and leg I owe Hofstra.