Rami Malek's Best Sketches of the Night, Ranked

It’s week 3 of Saturday Night Live’s 47th season, and here to make his hosting debut is No Time to Die star Rami Malek with musical guest Young Thug. Born and raised in California's San Fernando Valley, the Emmy and Oscar winning actor told The Hollywood Reporter that he was encouraged by a high school substitute teacher to do a dramatic interpretation of Charles Fuller’s play Zooman and the Sign. Moved by the teacher’s confidence in him, Malek took on the essentially one-man show which ended up lighting the artistic fire inside him. “Creatively I was shocked at how the words were just flowing right out of me and how...I related to [the play] so much.” He continued theater in high school (with famous classmates Kirsten Dunst and Rachel Bilson), and never imagined he could make a living doing the very thing he loved. During his conversation with Feinberg, Malek reminisced about his early struggles in casting, how he charmed his way into a role on Gilmore Girls before he had any representation (which became his first acting credit), and how industry leaders like Tom Hanks and Robert Downey Jr. helped push him forward in his career.

Malek’s come a long way from his early theater days. He starred in the critically acclaimed miniseries The Pacific, a series produced and narrated by Hanks, who even wrote a letter of support for him on his typewriter. From there, Malek has starred in an eclectic group of projects such as The Master with Joaquin Phoenix and the South by Southwest hit Short Term 12, to the animated comedy BoJack Horseman and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, in which he played an Egyptian vampire. But you likely know him for his lead role as hacker Elliot Alderson in the series Mr. Robot, a performance that earned him an Emmy. Or you might know him from his Oscar winning performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. He had previously been imitated on SNL by Pete Davidson, who played his character Elliot in a Mr. Robot parody with Margot Robbie and Leslie Jones, and the actor himself in a Celebrity Family Feud sketch.

Malek had a pep in his step as he descended the Studio 8H stairs, signaling the start of an energetic evening. It was quite the departure for the typically-stern Malek to be so bouncy and smiley. (And it was a delight!) It’s always interesting (and nerve wracking) when a celebrity with a serious onscreen persona hosts the show because, if they don’t embrace their inner silly, it could be a long night. Luckily, Malek seemed genuinely excited and honored to show off his comedy chops.

Let’s revisit some of the best moments from the October 16th episode of Saturday Night Live. Live from New York, it’s Rami Malek!

5. Bug Assembly

Malek’s played a variety of roles over his career including Freddie Mercury, James Bond’s adversary, and even a vampire. But no character is as precious as the stink bug he plays in this sketch. The Bug Assembly is a wholesome school event that finally gives the “weird” kids a chance in the spotlight to share some scientific facts about their favorite bugs. After some benign and predictable information from students dressed as a praying mantis (Andrew Dismukes), a lady bug (Sarah Sherman), and a stink bug (Rami Malek), the assembly takes a dramatic turn when one student (Bowen Yang) owns the stage as his favorite insect: daddy long legs.

4. Celeb School Game Show

In this game show parody sketch, two contestants (Punkie Johnson and Andrew Dismukes) go head-to-head in a classroom where they have no choice but to use the celebrity panelists to answer the host’s questions. Sketches like these are basically a fun excuse for the cast to show off their impressions, but this time, it is the host that steals the sketch. In addition to some spot-on impersonations of Jennifer Coolidge (Chloe Fineman, dumbass!), Adam Driver (James Austin Johnson), Kristen Wiig (Melissa Villaseñor), and George Takei (Bowen Yang), we are treated to an impression swap between Rami Malek and Pete Davidson. Sporting a tie-dye hoodie and blonde hair, Malek leans into Davidson’s raspy voice and hunched posture to really sell this impersonation. It’s clear by the audience’s laughs that they, too, were elated to see Malek play the cast member that’s played him over the years.

3. Angelo

It’s date night for this couple, played by Cecily Strong and a surprise guest. A very surprise guest. Believe it or not, they managed to get tickets to see Angelo (Aristotle Athari), the hottest improvisational songwriter in town. To make the show even more special, Angelo brought along his dance improv partner-in-crime (Rami Malek), who’s an extremely shy and ribbon-loving fellow. Angelo’s known for being able to whip up a song on the spot from just one word. The only problem is, he can’t hear too well.

2. Mattress Store

There’s a lot to consider when shopping for a new mattress, and this couple (Rami Malek and Aidy Bryant) does not want to make a premature purchase. Like most customers, they feel the different mattresses and lie down on the beds to see which is comfiest. But then they raise the stakes a bit and act out their nighttime routine, much to the confusion and overall befuddlement of the salesman (Bowen Yang). Let’s just say there’s a lot on the line.

1. Rami Malek Monologue

Malek is a bundle of joy in his monologue, explaining how appreciative he is to be able to break from his stoic and mysterious demeanor. Sure, his default expression might be a bit villainous, and practically every role he’s played is quite brooding, but he's used to it. In fact, he has a lot of compassion for cinematic bad guys and just wants you to hear him out. He also gushes about his family, joking that maybe, just maybe, his twin brother will switch places with him during the show. Right away, Malek proves that he knew how to deliver jokes and hit all the right beats. Give this guy some comedies!

Rami Malek stars alongside Daniel Craig in the latest James Bond film No Time to Die in theaters now. He also stars in David O. Russell’s upcoming historical drama with Anya Taylor-Joy, Margot Robbie, and Christian Bale. Next week, long-time Saturday Night Live cast member Jason Sudeikis will make his hosting debut.

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About The Author
Emily Bernard (44 Articles Published)

Emily Bernard is a NJ based Senior Feature Writer & Saturday Night Live Recap Writer for Collider and studied History and English at The University of Scranton. She's pretty darn passionate about screenwriting, playwriting, and comedy. She's a Semi-Finalist in Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival for her short screenplay and her feature screenplay is a Finalist for Best Comedy Feature Screenplay in the Houston Comedy Film Festival and a Semi-Finalist in the Big Apple Film Festival. Some of her current favorite shows include Succession, Hacks, Barry, Fargo, Killing Eve, and anything Kristen Wiig does, really. She's not totally sure how she feels about this whole "writing in the third person" thing, but it sounds more professional, so she's going to stick with it.

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