J.J. Watt To Host Saturday Night Live on February 1

J.J. Watt will host Saturday Night Live on the night before the Super Bowl.
J.J. Watt will host Saturday Night Live on the night before the Super Bowl.
Photo by Eric Sauseda
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

For his first five seasons in the NFL, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt played in every game, 80 in all, and won three Defensive Player of the Year awards. In the process, he became one of the biggest crossover stars in the NFL and all of sports, landing spots in movies, commercials, and hosting high profile events like the Country Music Awards.

Over the last four seasons, though, Watt has appeared in half of the 64 games he could have played in, with only one completely healthy season, that coming in 2018, when he made first team All-Pro for a fifth time. Watt has been absent as much as he's been present, but if you need any proof that his health issues haven't diminished his "Q rating," it cam on Tuesday night, as it was announced that Watt would be performing one of the premier pop culture jobs in all of entertainment:

If you're part of Watt's inner circle and thinking about the sustainability of his brand in his post-playing days, Tuesday was a pretty good day for you. There are a lot of NFL players that NBC probably could have approached (and who knows, maybe they did), but they settled on Watt, even though he's spent more time rehabbing injuries than playing football the last four years. Pretty cool.

Watt was understandably thrilled:

Athletes, particularly NFL players, have been part of the SNL host pool before. The gold standard for performances by an athlete are probably those of the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli, whose comedic chops were somewhat surprising, but in SNL annals now legendary:

Honestly, I didn't know Eli had that in him, but to be fair, the writers did a nice job of playing to his strengths and making sure he didn't have to do very much, which oddly enough, would have been a good suggestion for the New York Giants and their deployment of Eli in the last few years of his career.

I think Watt will put together a strong performance, as he's become increasingly comfortable and self deprecating through the years. Hopefully, his writers feed him better material than this doozy of an insult he lobbed at Bengals QB Andy Dalton following a game back in 2015:

The host on SNL has to do the monologue. Just keep your eyes on that telestrator, J.J. Stay in your lane. You'll be fine.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.