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‘SNL’ host Rami Malek embraces villain role and cracks jokes with ‘James Bond’ star Daniel Craig

Actor Daniel Craig (left) and Rami Malek on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, on October 6, 2021.VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Rami Malek, who often takes on dramatic roles, turned his skills to comedy as the host of “Saturday Night Live” this weekend -- and wasn’t shy about the change.

Malek made his hosting debut in a black vest and got the audience intrigued for the night during his opening monologue by explaining that making a joke is a new realm for him. As proof of his bad guy bonafides, he also brought up the film “The Lion King” and admitted that he supported the villain Scar’s actions and that the hero Simba was “annoying.”

“I usually don’t do comedy; I tend to play these really intense characters,” said Malek, who stars as the newest Bond villain in the movie “No Time to Die.” “Which makes a lot of sense because people tell me I have a resting villain face.”


Besides embracing the antagonist, Malek couldn’t believe what he had accomplished in his profession.

“I never thought this would be my life,” Malek said. “I am a son of Egyptian immigrants, and I kind of had a sheltered childhood.” He also shed light that he has a twin brother who is a teacher and a sister who is an ER doctor. Of course, Malek also poked fun at his siblings.

“They devoted their lives to helping others, but I have an Oscar so,” he jokingly said.

The 40-year-old also starred in a scene where he was auditioning to play the late singer Prince in a fictional biopic. With his unbuttoned shirt, mustache, and wig, Malek’s impersonation of the music legend was pretty spot on. Next to him was Keenan Thompson, who was also competing for the job. Malek also had assistance from a special guest, his “James Bond” co-star Daniel Craig.

The night also featured a skit about former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, who resigned following the release of e-mails he sent containing racist, misogynistic, and homophobic statements.


The musical guest, Young Thug, came out wearing a sparkly pink cheetah jacket and rapping “Tick Tock” and “Love You More.”

Viewers can expect former cast member Jason Sudeikis to host next week and singer Brandi Carlile to belt a tune.

Allana J. Barefield can be reached at allana.barefield@globe.com.