Jake Gyllenhaal’s ‘SNL’ Episode Ends the Season on a Joyful Note

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1864 -- Pictured: (l-r) Musical guest Sabrina Carpenter, host Jake Gyllenhaal, and Bowen Yang during Promos in Studio 8H on Thursday, May 16, 2024 -- (Photo by: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC)
Rosalind O'Connor/NBC

On Saturday night, Jake Gyllenhaal took the stage at Studio 8h to close out Saturday Night Live Season 49, and, clearly, he was having a blast.

There really were no duds in the array of sketches, and Gyllenhaal was a key player in most of them, showing up every time with enough vim to be the constant centerpiece. Plus, the variety of sketches was vast, which meant Gyllenhaal also got to show off his many strengths as a performer, from his surprisingly strong singing voice to his clammy New York City accent impression and beyond.

Here are some of the best moments of the episode.

In his monologue, he went hard on the humble humor about the fact that he was hosting the Season 49 finale instead of Season 50. He also reminded everyone that he has a nice set of pipes with a rendition of Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road.”

In one of his most spirited sketches, Gyllenhaal played the father of a young woman whose boyfriend wanted his blessing to propose. While he had no issue with the prospect of engagement, he was emphatic about covering up his cookie stealing.

Also quite fun was the ensemble “Scooby-Doo” sketch, which was a pretty standard live-action version of the classic show until right around the halfway mark, when it goes completely off the rails in the most delightful (and gory) way.

In this sketch, Gyllenhaal portrayed an NYPD spokesperson who addressed the growing rash of violence against character actors, and it turned into a full-on clinic about who exactly qualifies as a character actor — with a fun and self-deprecating cameo from Jon Hamm (decidedly not a character actor), no less!

In perhaps the most relatably hilarious sketch, Gyllenhaal played a man who’s trying to cancel his flight via phone, and it’s an absolutely miserable experience.

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