Regé-Jean Page came to play — and to smolder — in his inaugural Saturday Night Live hosting gig. The breakout Bridgerton star capitalized on the success of Netflix’s blockbuster period romance, which is officially the most successful show in the streaming service’s history, with a lively sketch comedy debut that had viewers applauding and hearts fluttering. And the British-Zimbabwean actor leaned into his sex symbol status. “People associate me with being this smoldering, sensual smokeshow,” he said in his monologue, which was frequently interrupted by the passionate cheers of devoted fans. “But I assure you, I’m just a regular guy.” Sure… a regular guy who knows how to expertly seduce the camera.
Page was joined onstage by his “personal liaisons” Aidy Bryant and Ego Nwodim, as well as Chloe Fineman, who arrived in her Regency-era finest to play his Bridgerton co-lead — and rumored real-life love interest — Phoebe Dynevor. And the performers couldn’t hide their own love for the brooding, beautiful Duke he plays on TV, even though he kept insisting otherwise. “I’m nothing like my character — I’m actually quite shy,” Page said, just before striking another smoldering pose as the SNL band cranked up the sexy music.
Bryant and Nwodim went on to cite their favorite scenes from the series… most of which featured the host and “extremely hot sex man” in various stages of undress. And, once again, the audience expressed their extreme appreciation for his commitment to the role. Page repaid them with one final bit of romantic flair, crooning the Righteous Brothers favorite “Unchained Melody,” with Ghost-level energy. “I’m happy to play the Duke: I’ve been around for awhile, though,” Page said afterwards. “I was in Roots, I’ve played high-flying lawyers. Yet somehow people just want me to be this guy who says, ‘I burn for you.'” After she found her voice again, Fineman spoke for the Studio 8H audience by saying, “Yeah, I mean why would anyone want you to do that?”
It’s safe to say that Twitter was vibing big time on Page’s energy.
And the love for Page didn’t dissipate after that smoldering monologue: many noted how the SNL writing staff gave him multiple opportunities to show off his range beyond being the handsomest guy in the room. In fact, the obligatory Bridgerton sketch was saved for the end of the show… which was just as well since it was also the weakest skit of the night. Whether he was singing sea shanties, wearing a face shield or discussing Taylor Swift, Page had the audience in the palm of his hand. After tonight, his career is officially on fire.
I’m ready for Regé-Jean Page to get a Jack Sparrow role after that sea shanty sketch. Or, just make Bridgerton go full Pirates of the Caribbean #SNL
— Stacey Nguyen (@yecats_nguyen) February 21, 2021
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC
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