Peyton Manning is most famous for his career as an NFL quarterback. However, the QB has never been shy about stepping in front of the camera off the field and showing off his comedy and acting skills as well. Whether it’s hamming it up in a commercial (cut that meat!) or dishing out sick burns on a Comedy Central Roast, Manning is legitimately funny.
Nothing illustrated this better than when he hosted Saturday Night Live in 2007. He was funny throughout, but a digital short titled United Way went down as one of the most hilarious and beloved bits in the show’s long history. Manning recently shared with Bob Costas that he got to re-live that sketch in a toast for one of his young co-stars’ wedding.
Peyton Manning’s ‘SNL’ United Way sketch is iconic
The legendary sketch was a play on the ubiquitous NFL/United Way TV commercials from the early 2000s. In the real spots, NFL players would joyfully interact with children while teaching them life lessons through football.
The SNL sketch starts the same way but quickly devolves. Manning starts taking the football piece way too seriously, calling out blitzes and shifting line protection while playing with a group of kids. He also throws full-speed footballs at the children, hitting them and knocking them down.
As the sketch goes on, Manning’s “life lessons” for the kids get more and more outlandish. He teaches them to break into cars, uses them to pick up women, and comforts one kid while he gets a tattoo of Peyton’s face. He even tells them, “Now, I’ll kill a snitch. I’m not saying I have. I’m not saying I haven’t.”
The big punchline of the fake commercial comes when the voiceover actor delivers the ad’s tagline, “The NFL and the United Way. Spend time with your kids, so Peyton Manning Doesn’t.”
Manning gave a toast at one of the child actors’ wedding
During an appearance on the HBO talk show Back on the Record with Bob Costas, Manning told the host how he got an email from a friend recently asking for a favor related to that famous sketch.
The friend explained that a child actor named Jack was the guy who the former Colt and Bronco “pegged in the head” all those years ago. The now-grown actor’s wedding was approaching and Manning’s friend asked if he would record a “shout-out video” for the groom. The quarterback obliged in epic Peyton Manning fashion. He told his former co-star:
Jack, Peyton Manning here. Best wishes to you and your bride for eternal happiness. You know, I threw a few touchdowns. I had a few wins. But for the most part, when people come up to me on the street, they recognize me for one reason: For pegging you in the back of the head. Thank you for blessing me with that opportunity to hit you in the face. Best of luck, best wishes.Peyton Manning’s wedding message
Manning’s comedy show hosting gig 14 years ago showed off the football player’s humor and comedic ability. The toast shows that it wasn’t just the SNL writers that made Manning funny. He’s actually a funny guy.
NFL viewers and Manning fans will get to see more of the QB’s personality soon as Peyton and his brother Eli launch a first-of-its-kind new football broadcast for the 2021 season.
The Peyton and Eli’ Monday Night Football’ broadcast kicks off September 13
The Eli and Peyton Manning MegaCast (or ManningCast if you prefer) of Monday Night Football starts this season. This alternate broadcast will air on ESPN 2. It will feature several rotating guests over the course of 10 MNF games this season.
Initial reports noted a permanent host would join the brothers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Mina Kimes and the NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt were all in the running for the coveted role. However, the network ultimately decided to rotate guests, per the New York Post.
While the exact tone and style of the broadcast aren’t known yet, it should be a fascinating watch for football fans. Eli has also demonstrated his comedic stylings on SNL and in commercials and videos. Peyton and Eli are also known as two of the most cerebral QBs ever to play in the NFL, so the football knowledge shared on the show should be incredible too.
The inaugural ManningCast will be on Monday, September 13, when the Las Vegas Raiders take on the Baltimore Ravens.