There are a lot of humans walking the Earth who find Peyton Manning genuinely funny and a huge part of that is due to his star turn hosting Saturday Night Live. As on the football field, he set a very high bar for his brother to live up to. But just like the football field, Eli surprised everyone and did a damn good job himself given the opportunity on May 6, 2012.
The whole episode hums in a way that is unimaginable now, eight years later. Don't get me started on SNL, don't even get me started. Manning's best moment came as a dorky man trying to beat a murder charge by pleading excess horniness. It remains a great sketch.
Manning also rode in the back of Cheech & Chong's car way before the NFL loosened its marijuana stance, struggled with an ill-conceived game show, and captured the cultural zeitgeist that was the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Just great work.
In the pantheon of guys who don't look funny but are funny, Eli is pretty high up there. It almost feels like a White Men Can't Jump situation where someone got to pick the host that week in hopes the show would bomb but Lorne Michaels knew Manning had the goods and was hustling the whole time.