Jake Gyllenhaal Serenades in 'SNL' Season Closer: "50 Isn't Complete Without 49"

Discover the humor behind SNL's season finale host reveal.

by Nouman Rasool
Jake Gyllenhaal Serenades in 'SNL' Season Closer: "50 Isn't Complete Without 49"
© Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Jake Gyllenhaal made his debut on the season finale of "Saturday Night Live," the final episode of its 50th season, and with all things said and done, he was in the show. He mentioned this fact with a bit of winking irony in his opening monologue.

"When you think of historic television seasons, the first number that pops into your head is 49," he quipped, setting the tone for an evening filled with self-deprecating jokes and charming musical numbers. Gyllenhaal, infamous for his many chameleonic roles in his filmic career à la Road House, did not prevent himself from making his monologue some sort of melodious homage as he aped the musical notes to Boyz II Men's timeless classic "End Of The Road." The performance was both a nod to the show's long history and a humorous acknowledgment of his own position in it.

"I mean, sure, one more episode and I would have been hosting the premiere of the 50th season, but who cares?" he sang, his voice dripping with feigned indifference yet underscored by an evident passion for the stage he stood on.

SNL's Casting Secrets

The actor went on to reveal a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the selection process for the show's hosts, his tone shifting between jest and jest. "You know, I was actually SNL's first choice to host the finale after a lot of people said no," he continued, his song weaving through a list of celebrities who had reportedly turned down the opportunity.

Names like Pedro Pascal, Zendaya, and even Ryan Gosling, who had just hosted three shows prior, were humorously cited as part of this exclusive group. Despite the playful envy, Gyllenhaal's performance was a testament to his genuine enthusiasm for being part of "SNL," a show that has become a cultural staple over its decades-long run.

His acceptance of being the season 49 closer, despite the attraction of the 50th season waiting in the wings, said a lot about him as an individual and his dedication to the craft of entertainment. The night also featured musical guest Sabrina Carpenter, lending that much-needed sense of excitement to the finale, topping off the season on a pretty great note.

As "SNL" shifts its focus slightly to the golden 50th, Gyllenhaal's hosting gig will be remembered among the greats, marking an end and great anticipation for what is next.