Regé-Jean Page made his “Saturday Night Live” debut as the host of last night’s show, fresh off the record-breaking success of the first season of “Bridgerton.”
In Netflix's Regency-era drama, Page, 31, plays the Duke of Hastings, known for his charm and good looks, though he's determined not to marry. Naturally, the sketch comedy show had a field day with jokes about British actor's sex appeal, starting with his opening monologue.
To start, Page jokingly referred to "Bridgerton" as “the show that made everyone turn to their moms and say, ‘You know what, never mind, I don’t think we should watch this together.’”
“It’s a bit of a racy show,” he continued. “And because of that, people may associate me with being this smoldering, sensual, smoke show of a man.”
“But I assure you, I’m just a regular guy,” Page said as the camera zoomed in while a sultry saxophone played in the background. "I’m here to show you a good time. I want us to have fun together, to explore each other. Does that sound pleasing to you?”
Soon after, "SNL" cast members Aidy Bryant and Ego Nwodim joined the actor on stage and insisted on being his personal “SNL” liaisons. Page told them they can relax, adding, “I’ve been getting a lot of this energy lately.”
“I am nothing like my character, the duke,” Page then quipped. “I am actually quite shy and emotional."
After learning that Bryant's and Nwodim's favorite moments from his breakout show revolve mostly around sex, Page explained, "OK, just so you know, that’s a character. None of that is real.”
But he couldn't resist getting a little intimate, caressing Bryant's face and saying, “Aidy, you have an eyelash. Make a wish.”
Unsurprisingly, Bryant revealed that her wish was R-rated.
Another way that Page differs from his character: He “(nerds) out on music and sings silly little songs,” he said before launching into a steamy rendition of "Unchained Melody" that had the crown cheering and Bryant and Nwodim sweating.
“How nerdy is that?” he said while the two women fanned themselves.
Cast member Chloe Fineman also took the sage, dressed in a costume inspired by Page's love interest in the show, Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor. Bryant immediately went on the defensive, telling Page, “That’s not Daphne, she’s just Chloe from regular ’SNL.’”
Page later responds: “Look, I’m happy to play the duke. I’ve been around for a while though. ... Yet somehow people just want me to be this guy who says ‘I burn for you!’” a reference to one of his most passionate lines from the show.
Fineman, Bryant and Nwodim all began to breathe heavily before Fineman breaks the silence: “Yeah, I mean, why would anyone want you to do that?!”
Bryant then cut in — “It’s cool, we definitely have other sketch ideas where you aren’t just being an extremely hot sex man," — before dashing off stage to write some new material.
Page ended his monologue on a touching note, sharing how happy he is that so many people connected with "Bridgerton" during the pandemic, especially people who don’t normally see themselves represented as romantic leads in TV shows.