Jon Hamm Pops By the 'SNL' Finale for a Skit About Character Actors

Saturday Night Live pulled from the headlines for a Season 49 sketch about protecting character actors at all costs. Drawing from the recent news that Steve Buscemi was randomly punched in the face on the streets of New York City, Jake Gyllenhaal played an NYPD officer giving a press conference about the crime wave.

"Just this week, national treasure Steve Buscemi was punched while walking through Kips Bay," Gyllenhaal said in character. "These types of attacks cannot and will not be tolerated. So to everyone watching, I have one important message: Stop punching character actors in the face."

When a reporter asked if it wasn't just one isolated incident, Gyllenhaal's sergeant reminded everyone that, in fact, it had also happened to Rick Moranis and the "shockingly versatile" Michael Stuhlbarg.

The sketch then devolved into a debate about what makes someone a character actor.

"It's actors whose faces you can remember, and names you cannot," Gyllenhaal said. "So when you're walking in New York, you may be at risk if you've ever been on the TV show Boardwalk Empire. You have a face that makes casting directors go, 'Oh, interesting.' Your IMDB page has over 100 entries but all your characters just have a first name."

As for how the NYPD is protecting character actors, he said that they're asking anyone who's ever played a girlfriend on Seinfeld or a boyfriend on Sex and the City to avoid mass transit.

"And we've asked Paul Giamatti to shelter in place," he added.

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After that, Jon Hamm popped in to ask if he counts as a character actor. Thankfully, he doesn't. "Oh, good," he says. "I can’t get punched. Without this beautiful face I’m just a tall guy with a perfect body."

The bottom line, officer Gyllenhaal concluded: Character actors are "the lifeblood of the entertainment industry," so if you see one on the street, "Don’t punch him, Google him.

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