WWE icon and actor John Cena has recently become a welcome comedic presence in a number of movies. Last year he appeared in Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck, Will Ferrell’s Daddy’s Home, and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Sisters. And continuing his recent funnyman trend, Cena was asked to host Saturday Night Live this past weekend.
The episode featured plenty of political satire from SNL mainstay Kate McKinnon and it even included a surprise guest appearance from Bryan Cranston as Breaking Bad‘s Walter White. If that wasn’t funny enough, Cena later brought his A-game as show host. One of the best skits from the episode was ‘The Karate Teen’, a terrific spoof on the 1984 Ralph Macchio-led sports drama, The Karate Kid.
The skit made good use of Cena’s very large physique, which the actor played up by adding an obnoxious high-pitched voice to his character to plenty of comedic effect. By far, though, the three-minute skit’s best moments are the over-the-top blows by Cena that knock his opponent right out of his karate pants and through through multiple walls — twice. Cena’s Wolfclaw dojo strongman makes for a hilarious send-up of Johnny Lawrence and his Cobra Kai dojo from the first film. He even pulls off the look with a wispy blonde wig that looks straight out of the ’80s. Meanwhile the Daniel LaRusso send-up does a great job lampooning The Karate Kid‘s protagonist.
While Cena was definitely the star of the show, SNL cast member Kenan Thompson was also on hand to play the role of the wise karate master, who was played by Pat Morita in the original film. Here, the skit makes a joke out of Mr. Miyagi’s unconventional method of instruction. During a flashback, Thompson asks his trainee to first blindfold himself, then attempt to catch a penny amongst a group of other coins thrown into the air. The skit then snaps back to the match, where Cena’s clear physical superiority leads him to an easy victory.
‘The Karate Teen’ was just one of many funny skits of the night, further cementing Cena’s place as a solid comedic actor, in addition to his superstar wrestling career. As a performer, Cena was able to easily bounce off the show’s more experienced members like McKinnon, Thompson, Bobby Moynihan (The Secret Life of Pets), and Leslie Jones (Ghostbusters). Here’s hoping SNL welcomes Cena back soon.
SNL returns this Saturday @11:30pm on NBC.