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NY Giants' Eli Manning, two-time Super Bowl champion, prepares to host Saturday Night Live


Big Blue QB is funnier than you would think


By Ralph Vacchiano / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS


Saturday, April 28, 2012, 10:52 PM










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Eli Manning (l.) and Deion Sanders on the set of a DirecTV commercial.



The memory of Eli Manning dressed as a 1970s cop, wearing a fake moustache and leaning against a police car, still makes Peyton Manning laugh. He can’t believe the world still sees his little brother as shy, reserved and lacking in personality.


Peyton says the world should’ve seen Eli back then.


“He was really into the character,” Peyton says, reminiscing about the brothers’ famous Football Cops commercial for DirecTV last summer. “I never knew he always wanted to be a cop.”


“I didn’t,” adds Eli, sitting next to his brother. “I just wanted to have a moustache. A moustache does not grow well with me.”


Maybe Eli can convince the producers of “Saturday Night Live” to let him wear some more fake facial hair when he reports for work on Monday for what he calls his next “challenge.”


Following in the footsteps of his more gregarious brother, Eli will be rehearsing at Studio 8H in Manhattan all this week preparing for his turn as host of NBC’s long-running comedy sketch show on Saturday night.


At first glance, Eli doesn’t appear to be the natural fit for that role like Peyton was when he hosted “SNL” in 2007. But during an interview with the Daily News last week while taking a break from filming another series of DirecTV commercials at the Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, Peyton insisted Eli isn’t an unnatural fit at all. In fact, he believes Eli will be a surprising success on the show because he has one key quality:


An ability and willingness to make fun of himself on national TV.


“The main thing I tried to do there, I told them I don’t take myself very seriously and I’m not afraid to make fun of myself,” Peyton says. “I think that’s kind of important on that show. You have to just kind of let them have at it with you.”


Eli seems willing to do that. Despite his controlled and sometimes boring public persona, his teammates have always said he’s a funny man behind the scenes. Even Hall of Famer Deion Sanders says he saw signs of Eli’s comedic genius during the four days they worked on their commercial together last week.


“He really is hilarious, man,” Sanders says. “I can see what they’re saying now. His timing is impeccable. He’s hilarious. He’s a professional. He threw some one-liners out there that are really going to take this commercial to another level.”


Eli points out that he’s no stranger to comedy, thanks to a long list of commercials during his eight-year NFL career. The two-time Super Bowl MVP says he feels more comfortable in front of a camera than ever before. He’s also learned things from watching his brother, such as the importance of reading a script before shooting starts and knowing when it’s OK to make up your own lines.


Eli says he hasn’t seen the “SNL” script yet, but he’s gotten plenty of ideas for skits from friends and teammates. Victor Cruz, for example, would love to see Eli do a salsa. His old friends keep calling with suggestions, too.


“My college buddies keep saying ‘This is something that’s funny that happened to us. You should bring that in,’” Eli says. “Some of them might be good suggestions. A lot are not.”


Peyton, who won’t be in attendance on Saturday night because of a previous commitment, says he hasn’t given Eli any ideas yet and really hasn’t spent much time helping Eli prepare for the show at all. Most of their discussions, Peyton says, have been about how “it’s easier to get tickets for a Super Bowl than it is for this.” An”SNL” host only gets 10 to distribute to family and friends.


“I don’t think we’ve had any film study, if that’s what you’re asking,” Peyton adds. “When I was there I just kind of said ‘Just tell me where to line up.’ It’s the same strategy (for Eli). You want to kind of get to know what they’re trying to do, and be yourself as much as you can be.


“I will say it is very much like a football week. You get there on a Monday and, not to use too many analogies, but you put in the game plan, the plays you’re going to run, then you do double practices.”


It was the same, sometimes tedious process during their commercial shoot last week, but it all paid off when they shot their final commercial together in just three takes. “It would’ve been even quicker if you could memorize your lines,” Eli tells Peyton.


In the commercial, scheduled to air this summer, Peyton is wearing his brand new Denver Broncos uniform, while Eli is dressed in Giants blue. Both are clean shaven, much to Eli’s dismay.


“Anytime I can put a mustache on, I’m all for it,” he says.


“He means that,” Peyton adds.


Maybe he’ll get one to wear on Saturday night.


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-eli-manning-two-time-super-bowl-champion-prepares-host-saturday-night-live-article-1.1069320#ixzz1tQtrOq9G

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If those promos are any indication of the show on saturday, it's not going to be very good.


Knowing Eli the entire performance will be utter shit up until the last skit in which he pulls out an amazing performance that saves the entire show.

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