From 'The Rock' Obama to Bambi, Dwayne Johnson has owned 'SNL'
Getting caught between a rock and a hard place is never fun, unless you’re wedged next to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and the metaphorical wall of laughter he often inspires at Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, of course.
Across four previous turns at the center of the comedy series, Johnson — he’ll join the renowned Five-Timers Club this Saturday, May 20 when he takes the reins of NBC’s long-running program for the season 42 finale, his first time back since 2015 — has brought to life a score of memorable characters, from souped-up superpolitician “The Rock” Obama to a gun-toting live-action version of the classic Disney character Bambi. Ahead of Johnson’s hosting gig this weekend, relive some of his best work on the variety sketch show in the clips below.
The Jungle — March 28, 2015
Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, and Johnson get closer than they ever have before in this knee-slapper, which sees the Baywatch star playing a low-rent version of Indiana Jones bombarded by a native’s poisonous darts. The only way to remove the poison? Sucking it out — orally. When darts land on Johnson’s buttocks and groin, his companions — Pete Davidson and Kate McKinnon — vie for the opportunity to put their mouths on the explorer’s body (with gut-busting results).
The Rock Obama: Angry Obama — March 7, 2009
What happens when the remarkably even-tempered Barack Obama gets mad? Johnson hilariously explores the idea with this recurring character — a hulking, rage-fueled version of the commander-in-chief he debuted shortly after the 44th president took office in 2009.
New Disney Movie — March 28, 2015
Johnson inserted himself into Disney’s seemingly undying onslaught of live-action adaptations of beloved animated classics (Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, to name a few), giving time-tested classic Bambi an adult-oriented, bullet-riddled remix in this video short.
Dinner Date — March 28, 2015
Recently crowned as PEOPLE’s sexiest man alive, Johnson does a fine job at making himself the most unattractive dinner date in the world in this quirky sketch, which sees Cecily Strong playing an amusing, British-accented bimbo accompanying his spot-on portrayal of a paranoid macho man dining with well-mannered friends.
WWE Promo Shoot — March 28, 2015
Johnson rose to prominence as a professional wrestler, and SNL didn’t miss an opportunity to stick the sportsman-turned-Hollywood-star into a skin-tight singlet. Here, Johnson hams it up as a WWE contender whose choice insult aims way below his competitor’s belt during a comical promotional shoot for their upcoming match.
Freshman opening monologue — March 18, 2000
It’s hard to believe Johnson’s first-ever SNL episode aired over 17 years ago, and the then-budding actor got a little help from his friends for his freshman outing when wrestling superstars Mick Foley, Big Show, Triple H, and Vince McMahon made surprise appearances during their colleague’s opening monologue.
Mr. Peeper’s Father — March 18, 2000
Chris Kattan’s fan-favorite “Mr. Peepers” character finally met his father in Johnson, who expertly mimicked Kattan’s wild caveman mannerisms for this bonkers skit that also starred Will Ferrell and Chris Parnell.
Musical opening monologue — March 7, 2009
Johnson kicked off this 2009 episode with a song and dance number that contrasted with his “tough guy” image, stripping down to a revealing outfit and doing a seductive chair dance alongside Kristen Wiig and Abby Elliott.
Dance of the Daisies — March 28, 2015
Though it was cut for time, this never-aired sketch puts Johnson in an amusingly flamboyant flower costume. The bit then follows the inner monologues of four friends who immediately regret putting on their “Dance of the Daisies” community theater production shortly after it begins.
The Johnson-hosted season finale of SNL airs live across all time zones this Saturday at 11:30 p.m. ET, 10:30 p.m. CT, 9:30 p.m. MT, and 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.
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