‘SNL’ Lets J.K. Simmons Go Full ‘Whiplash’ on the Cast
One of the best character actors of the past few decades, J.K. Simmons has always been one of the world’s most beloved ”that guys.” Everyone knows his face, but not everyone knows his name. However, the fact that he’s the current frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor at the 2015 Academy Awards for ‘Whiplash’ has started to change that, earning him a well-deserved moment in the spotlight and guest hosting duties on ‘SNL.’ Although much of last night’s episode saw him blending in with the rest of the cast, there was one big moment where he was called upon to poke fun at his work in ‘Whiplash.’ It was inevitable.
Simmons’ big ‘Whiplash’ moment came early in the show, during his opening monologue. After setting up a predictable gag about New York City’s “Snowpocalypse,” Simmons is joined on stage by various cast members for a song...only for each and every one of them to not live up to his exacting standards. Audience members who haven’t seen ‘Whiplash’ may not appreciate the smaller jokes (“Not my tempo”), but it ultimately boils down to “J.K. Simmons yells at everyone and gets really mean,” which is funny for just about anyone who likes good things.
The whole scene culminates with a surprise appearance from an ‘SNL’ veteran with real musical chops, showcasing the first instance of Simmons happily handing the focus of the show over to another actor. This would become a recurring trend throughout the next 90 minutes, making him one of the best and seemingly most gracious guest hosts that we have seen all season.