Sometimes, an actor bursts onto the scenes and wins the hearts (and ovaries) of every one that sees him.
Adam Driver is one of those actors.
Rising to prominence on the HBO series Girls, he enjoyed a healthy stream of independent films before taking on a bigger role as Kylo Ren in Disney’s continuation of the Star Wars franchise. Since then, he’s starred in a number of mainstream and independent films, garnering two Oscar nominations for the Spike Lee joint BlacKkKlansman and Noah Baumbach’s divorce drama Marriage Story. (I’m still bitter that he didn’t win for the latter.)
But with all these serious roles under his belt, it’s easy to forget that Driver is funny. Like, very funny. He’s proven this on screen in films like Logan Lucky, What If? and The Dead Don’t Die, but today we’re taking a look at his appearances on the hit US comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live.
Now, I think most people would agree that the sketches on SNL can be fairly hit or miss and, having starred in over 20 of them, not every sketch he appears in is gold.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the funniest he’s made, in honour of his 37th birthday.
Up first is a sketch starring Driver and Cecily Strong as a pair of vivacious New York newlyweds who are invited to try out a new brand of coffee, only to be disgusted when they find out it’s actually from Burger King.
A humorous send up of those “Expensive vs. Affordable” adverts, the skit lets Driver and Strong go very over the top with heavy accents and exaggerated body movements, taking on the angry New Yorker stereotype as well as the egotistical attitudes of those who buy more expensive products.
Del Taco Shoot
On the subject of exaggeration, it doesn’t get much better than this skit where a poor actor (Kyle Mooney) is pushed to his limits trying to deliver a simple line in a taco commercial. It starts fairly simply, with the director giving notes on how to say “Aww man, I’m all outta cash!” but things ramp up when Driver’s Del Taco executive gets involved with even further criticism, driving both himself and Mooney over the top to deliver the best possible reading. It’s ludicrous, and gets so much funnier as the stress of the situation rises.
Adam Driver, Chris Redd and Kenan Thompson are a group of R&B artists on their way to see their girlfriends, but they’re taking things slow…Like, very slow. Not quite in terms of their relationships, but they’re quite literally moving too slowly. A hilarious parody of sexy R&B, it’s packed with great lyrics, a comically deep voice for Driver and an ending that is just…*chef’s kiss*
Now for a pair of Star Wars themed skits as Kylo Ren goes on the hit reality show Undercover Boss, first as radar technician Matt and then as an intern, to find out what his employees really think of the First Order. The beauty of these two comes with the accuracy in the character; his performance as Matt perfectly matches the childish, temperamental attitude of Ren in The Force Awakens, whilst his second appearance follows the more developed but still emotionally compromised transition he’s undertaken.
The Science Room
Whilst the past sketches have seen him play it goofy, Driver plays the straight man in this one as a TV science teacher getting frustrated with the two dumb kids he’s hosting with. This one is a riot from start to finish; Driver starts off pleasant and optimistic, and the laughs grow as his patience is continuously tested by the two children giving the most ridiculous answers.
Last, but certainly not least, is Adam Driver’s finest moment on SNL. It’s career day at school, and Mortedecai’s (Pete Davidson) father has come to talk about the oil business, the ruthlessness it takes and how he destroyed his enemy, H.R. Pickens. If you need proof that Driver is one of the greatest actors working, it’s this; dolled up in old man make up, he plays it totally straight and doesn’t break once as a vicious, old fashioned business tycoon who inspires the children in his son’s class. The sketch, the writing and the performance are all hysterical, and the cherry on top is Pete Davidson barely able to contain himself whilst being shouted at by Driver. I mean, let’s be honest, none of us could keep it together either.
Those are our picks for the best of Adam Driver on Saturday Night Live.
What’s your favourite?
Happy birthday, you magnificent beast.