Sam Rockwell's first time hosting Saturday Night Live got off to a rocky start, as the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star let an f-bomb fly during one of the night's early sketches.
Rockwell has been a reliable character actor for two decades, logging memorable roles in films like Galaxy Quest, Iron Man 2, and The Way, Way Back. But his role in Three Billboards seems to be something of a late career break for Rockwell; he's already won a Golden Globe for his fiery performance as a racist small town cop, and he's considered a favorite to take home the Academy Award as well. A natural comedic performer, hosting Saturday Night Live seemed like a gig that fit Rockwell's skillset perfectly and served as a nice celebration of his elevation to the Hollywood A-list.
But things did not get off to a great start. After a cooly received opening musical number, Rockwell starred in a sketch based on the '80s television series Mr. Wizard, where an older teacher would teach young children about science. The sketch featured unusually dumb kids (played with panache by Cecily Strong and Mikey Day) who caused Rockwell's seemingly sweet teacher to lose his cool, but Rockwell took it a step too far, unleashing one of the words you definitely can't say on network television. Twitter user Dave Itzkoff captured the moment, which you can check out below.
Props, I guess, to Cecily Strong and Mikey Day for rolling with Sam Rockwell’s f-bomb pic.twitter.com/ZcqrzoeG1U— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 14, 2018
This is far from the first time someone has dropped an f-bomb on SNL. Kristen Stewart memorably let the naughty word fly during her monologue, much to her visible horror. Jenny Slate uttered the word in her very first episode as a cast member, arguably a gaffe she never recovered from - it would be her only season on the show. Musical guests ranging from Prince to System Of A Down have all invoked the word. Perhaps most infamously, Charles Rocket very intentionally said the word at the end of an episode in 1981, getting both himself and producer Jean Doumanian fired, and very nearly got the show cancelled.
It's unlikely anyone's going to lose their job over Rockwell's gaffe, though it is a reminder of the high wire act that Saturday Night Live pulls off on a weekly basis, juggling the manic production of a live variety series and requiring a tremendous amount of faith in both its regular cast and its host to deliver. This hopefully won't be a roadblock to Rockwell eventually returning to host the show, as he recovered from his shaky start and proved himself to be a more than capable host. Judging from his immediate reaction to the f-bomb, it seems unlikely to be a mistake he'd repeat.
Source: Dave Itzkoff