Nobody appears to enjoy the Saturday Night Live promotional segments. Even when a genuinely funny person hosts the following week’s show, this exercise in pre-show hype comes across as more of a chore than anything the cast, crew, host, and musical guest want to do during the frantic run-up to Saturday’s live show. Nonetheless, Succession star Kieran Culkin exudes a playful commitment in his two riffs with Heidi Gardner and Chris Redd.
Why, after all, can’t there be ghosts? Studio 8H has certainly seen its fair share of strange occurrences, and personalities that are unlikely to be shaken by something as insignificant as a minor death. “Okay, well, I guess we can have ghosts,” finally says the promisingly game Culkin, caving in to his future castmates’ wide-eyed pleas that ghost comedy is the best comedy. Now that Macauley has taken a well-deserved early semi-retirement into music, podcasting, and the odd, disastrous Quentin Tarantino audition, it’s time for the 39-year-old younger Culkin to shine.
Along with Redd and Gardner’s name-game gaffes about his first name rhyming with the last of musical guest Ed Sheeran (honestly, “Kieran and Sheeran, beerin’ and hearin'” sounds like a good time), everyone’s favorite/least-favorite member of the plutocratically evil Roy family predicted a time when he and Sheeran would end up together.
(Where, of course, he would be Kieran Sheeran, because no one could resist the rhyme, regardless of career branding.) In terms of this week’s show, it’s probably a safe bet that a guy who’s been in the acting game since he was able to read a script will handle the infamously difficult role with professional aplomb.
For starters, now that notorious stage dad Kit is no longer making demands of SNL producer Lorne Michaels (the elder Culkin reportedly banned all cue cards from Macauley’s show, making it the only episode in SNL history where everyone memorised their lines), Kieran should have some measure of control. And if Kieran doesn’t get as cool a musical guest as Macauley did (albeit with saggy side project Tin Machine), we’ll always have Kieran Sheeran. (Ed Sheeran’s COVID recovery has always stingingly robbed us of a fan-mounted Mountain Goats write-in campaign.)
Kieran Culkin | Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @njtimesofficial. To get the latest updates