Williams on Williams: “Often Seen As Stiff. Tonight That All Changes”

By Chris Ariens 

If a presidential candidate can say “Live from New York it’s Saturday Night,” why can’t a network anchor host the show?

The Brian Williams-hosted SNL began with a Halloween skit with cast members dressed as candidates, until a real candidate turns up: Barack Obama, getting the show started with that famous phrase.

As for Williams, his monologue hit the mark. Stating the obvious:
“Each one of us, myself included, is thinking, is this really a good idea?” Then Williams opens up: “I’ve seen the internal NBC research and read the viewer mail. I know I’m often seen as a stiff. A guy who’s always in anchorman mode. But tonight (camera turn, with over- the-shoulder graphic)…that all changes.”

His first skit wasn’t much of a stretch. Williams plays Paul, an FDNY firefighter who is a guest on the talk show Bronx Beat, accent included. Williams himself was a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Middletown, NJ, sans the accent, we’re sure.

Back to the show. TVNewser’s Alissa Krinsky will have a full report on Williams’ SNL gig tomorrow…