Willem Dafoe gets intense as he predicts hosting SNL will be the best night of his life

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Katy Perry, Willem Dafoe, Chris Redd
Katy Perry, Willem Dafoe, Chris Redd

Sometimes, Saturday Night Live’s host is such a seeming mismatch of tones and expectations that it becomes appointment viewing. You know, if only to see if Willem Dafoe’s signature brand of crazy-eyed intensity will mesh with 90 minutes of knockabout sketch comedy. Thus we prepare for a Willem Dafoe-hosted SNL by running through just which of the acclaimed actor’s roles is ripe for some SNL-style, impression-heavy parody.

Could it his terrifying thug Bobby Peru, from Wild At Heart? Or his terrifying lighthouse keeper from The Lighthouse? Or how about his terrifying, finger-lopping thug from The Grand Budapest Hotel? Nobody’s ready for an Antichrist SNL sketch—honestly, the entire Lars von Trier oeuvre is probably out. Dafoe was uncharacteristically sort of lovely and not-upsetting in The Florida Project, but that seems unlikely, too. (That said, a sketch where Willem Dafoe plays the nicest, sweetest, most un-crazy psycho in the room might be a way to go.)

Dafoe’s long and convoluted history with the Spider-Verse is the most likely candidate for an SNL goof, especially if there are any of the untold screen Spiders-Men swinging around New York on show day.

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So, what does the new promo clip for Willem Dafoe’s SNL episode tell us?

Dafoe’s promos for Saturday’s episode provide precious few clues what to expect, either. Except that the sight of Willem Dafoe doing comedy is predictably a little unnerving.

Appearing alongside Chris Redd and musical guest Katy Perry, Dafoe, at one point, claims that their mandatory promotional team-up represents the funniest sketch he’s ever seen. His claim is punctuated by the sort of hearty belly-laugh to keep viewers up at night, wondering if a wild-eyed, guffawing Willem Dafoe is going to leap out at them in the dark.

Seeming to tap into the spooky netherworld where all his characters apparently reside, Dafoe then claimed to be having a spell of déjà vu, only to be assured by Redd that, no, Saturday Night Live has never had the bright idea to ask one of the most innately menacing actors in world history to host a live comedy show before.

Whipping out some sunglasses, Dafoe only cackled, “It must have been a premonition I had—about the best time of my entire life!” Redd and Perry joined in Dafoe’s enthusiasm, which is the only wise course of action. Just do what Mr. Dafoe says.