Eli Manning dodged “Saturday Night Live” the first time he won the Super Bowl because of big brother.
Peyton Manning had been on the NBC prime-time show the year before and gotten big reviews. Eli Manning didn’t want to follow up so closely on the heels of him.
Now, coming off his second Super Bowl championship and five years after Peyton Manning did the show, Eli Manning will give it a go this Saturday night. Eli Manning said he will “let it loose” in an effort to show more personality and humor than his brother.
“I think that’s the good thing about 'Saturday Night Live,' you can kind of come in and maybe express a different side that people don’t see,” Eli Manning said, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “Maybe that’s not you at all times, but for this night you can kind of let loose.
“I think that’s one thing I’d say about Peyton and I. We don’t mind making fun of myself or letting the jokes be at our own expense. I think it’s important to have that attitude going into this week.”
Eli Manning has been rehearsing this week and believes he’s ready. It’s a little bit of pressure, though, especially following his popular brother.
“One of the main reasons I did not do it was Peyton had done so well the previous year,” Eli Manning said. “I thought it might be a little fresh in everyone’s mind. So I didn’t want to have to go up against a tough competition and the great job that he performed.
“When I got the invite this year I definitely wanted to try to make it work. I kind of remember to saying to Lorne (Michaels) in 2008), ‘I do want to do the show at one point. I just want to do it maybe after my next championship.’”
It’s Peyton Manning who now trails his brother when it comes to championships. We’ll see Saturday how they stack up in terms of comedy.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune