The actor delivered an opening monologue in which he said how “excited” he is to be hosting the show “live” in front of the audience and viewers at home – and mentioned that his two brothers were also in attendance.
“I’m excited to be here doing something live, I mean this is what musicians talk about when you get that instant feedback from the crowd,” he said. “Because of course when you do a movie, you do it, wait a year to hear how you did, but that’s not the case tonight: reviews will be coming in immediately. People are probably tweeting reviews right now.”
“I know they say don’t read reviews, or actually say if you read the good ones, you have to read the bad ones,” he continued, before quipping: “that’s not true...I find the bad ones don’t speak to me in the same way.”
Wilson then referred to a bad review that “made it past my radar” years ago which said: “Owen Wilson’s onscreen persona has all the ambition of an old golden retriever laying next to a fire.”
He continued: “To be honest, I probably have been guilty at times of coasting a little, taking my foot off the pedal, but I’ll tell you what. When Daniel Day-Lewis retired, and all of that pressure landed on my shoulders, everything changed. That’s when I knew I had to do Cars 3,” Wilson laughed to huge applause in the audience.
“And is it the worst thing in the world, being a golden retriever laying next to a fire?” he deadpanned. “I mean, I know everyone comes out here and says, ‘It’s going to be a great show!’ Is it? I don’t know!”
Many fans on social media enjoyed the moment, with one calling it “a blast” and another saying it was “one of the best openers on the show”.
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Others watching Saturday Night Live felt some of the references were – in the words of one fan – “too risqué” when Wilson can be seen reading some controversial lines: “Grow up man, your sister sure did” and “Oh you’re in high school, could have fooled me” and references to “the r-word”.
Wilson then realises his character is “the bad guy” in the sketch and stops the read through. At this point many viewers expressed their relief on social media, with one saying “phew!” and another adding “we needed that”.
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