“Saturday Night Live” wasted no time commenting on the fact that everyone from critics to fans to SAG voters fell in love with Regé-Jean Page in Netflix’s “Bridgerton.”
Page hosted the Feb. 20 episode of the NBC late-night sketch comedy series and he started his monologue by pointing out that everyone knows him now from that new period drama — “the show that made everyone turn to their moms and say, ‘Never mind, I don’t think we should watch this together.’
“And because of that, people may associate me with being this smoldering, sensual smoke show,” he said in the monologue, which you can watch above. “But I assure you I’m just a regular guy.”
Of course, the comedy came from immediately proving that wasn’t true, as he slipped into a sultry voice, the music kicked up and the camera pushed in tight on his face for him to say, “I want us to have fun together, to explore each other.”
This motif continued later in the monologue when he first claimed he was nothing like his “Bridgerton” character of Duke Simon Basset: “I’m shy, emotional, it’s hard for me to talk about myself because, well, I just want to listen,” he said. He also claimed to be a nerd who loved to “sing silly little songs” before launching into a note-perfect “Unchained Melody” verse.
He was joined by “SNL” cast members Aidy Bryant, Ego Nwodim and Chloe Fineman, who was dressed as Daphne Bridgerton. The women donned British accents and claimed to be his “personal ‘SNL’ liaison.” When Page asked them their favorite parts of the show, they referred to sex scenes by referencing how many minutes into a particular episode they were.
“That’s a character. None of that is real,” he said, before sweeping an eyelash off Bryant’s face and telling her to make a wish as the music swelled.
“My wish was rated R,” she said.
As the monologue continued, Page pointed out he has been acting for awhile, referencing his turn in the 2016 adaptation of “Roots” and working as a high-powered lawyer on Shondaland’s previous drama, “For The People.”
“Yet, people just want me to be this guy who says, ‘I burn for you,’” he delivered to camera.
“It’s cool, we definitely have other sketch ideas where you aren’t just being an extremely hot, sex man,” said Bryant. “No, we’re screwed. Get pencils, bitches, ’cause we’re rewriting everything!”
Page also closed out his appearance on the show with the final in-studio sketch of the night being a parody of “Bridgerton,” in which Fineman donned the Daphne costume once again. He got out a simple, “I burn for you, Daphne” before Kate McKinnon called, “Cut!” to set up the next scene, which would, of course, require “nudity and simulated intercourse.”
Unfortunately their usual intimacy coordinator “had a COVID exposure,” McKinnon said, so Mikey Day came in as the replacement, along with Pete Davidson who was portraying his nephew and assistant. They were two guys who used to work in VFX but “not a lot of people getting puked on in movies because of COVID,” so they took a new gig, Day said.
Neither one of them read the script (“Seemed like girl’s stuff to me,” said Davidson, while Day understood the “gist” to be “you two are brother and sister, you’re banging each other”). They had a plastic bag of modesty garments, and when Page asked if they were clean, Davidson lifted one to his nose, took a whiff, paused, took another and said, “Yeah.”
Page and Fineman climbed on the prop bed to walk through the scene, to raucous audience cheers, but Day asked them to tap out, and he and Davidson traded places with them to offer different position and even dialogue options. One of the latter was that Daphne would tell the Duke, “Wrong hole, dumbass,” which McKinnon corrected to, “Wrong hole, your grace.”
“Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.