Saturday Night Live ended 2022 with first-time host Austin Butler at the helm in an episode that was received with mixed reviews.
Butler was the sixth first-time host of the season and followed behind a charismatic performance by Keke Palmer the week before. While the Elvis star was expecting to wow the SNL audience, many expressed lukewarm reviews. In all fairness to Butler, he also followed behind veterans of sketch comedy like Steve Martin and Martin Short.
In his opening monologue, Butler made fun of himself and drew laughs for a “Lord of the Rings” impression, but also touched hearts with a tearful tribute to his late mother.
What makes the monologue even more moving is Butler’s recent revelation that he spent three years away from his family while preparing to film “Elvis.” Though his mom passed away from cancer in 2014, it is sad to think he lost so much time with his remaining family to play the King.
Butler choked up when he said that “Mom is no longer with us.” He also talked about how proud she’d be that her son “who used to not be able to order for myself at a restaurant is now standing on this stage.”
Much like many episodes of SNL, there were highs and lows, with the evening’s best sketch being “A Christmas Epiphany”
Check out the full episode here.