Okay, so the modifier in that headline isn’t really necessary. At this point, Dwayne Johnson has probably been acting long enough that it’s sort of silly to keep referring to him by his old ringside name. After all, SNL itself made the switch years ago.
Dwayne Johnson is seen as The Rock Obama on “Saturday Night Live.”
Dwayne Johnson’s comical political aspirations were displayed once again during his stint as host on “Saturday Night Live.”
The “Furious 7″ star, who has hosted three times before, stepped in when Jay Pharaoh’s Barack Obama expressed how unhappy he was to political foes, including Texas senator Ted Cruz, played by Bobby Moynihan, who recently announced his intention to run for president.
When he didn’t get the answers he wanted, an Incredible Hulk-esque transformation took place with Pharaoh replaced by Johnson, who reprised his role as the angry President The Rock Obama.
But what would a body builder president be without an equally strong first lady?
“SNL’s” Leslie Jones stepped in as She Rock Obama to back up the buff POTUS.
Posted March 28 2015 — 5:46 PM EDT
In 2000, when Johnson first hosted Saturday Night Live, he was at the height of his professional wrestling career. So naturally, he was credited as The Rock—and his maiden hosting voyage incorporated lots of WWF-inspired material, including cameos from pile-driving pals Mick Foley, Vince McMahon, Triple H, and Big Show. Ironically enough, though, that wrestling-heavy episode was what got Hollywood to take notice of Johnson as an entertainer with outside-the-ring potential; he’d nab his first starring movie role (the title character in The Scorpion King) just two years later. He’d also host SNL for a second time that same year, credited once more as The Rock.
But by the time Johnson returned to helm NBC’s sketch series a third time in 2009, he’d made numerous additional movies, including Walking Tall, Southland Tales, and The Game Plan—and he’d also shed the epithet in favor of his given name. It was a big enough deal that The Rock’s—er, Johnson’s—monologue revolved around the switch: “The first time I hosted, it was as The Rock,” he explained. “But over the past nine years, I’ve transformed myself from wrestler to actor. In fact, I did such a good job that when they were casting the movie The Wrestler, they didn’t even consider me.” Then Abby Elliott and Kristen Wiig tore off his blazer to reveal a sequined vest, which sparkled as Johnson shimmied his way through a musical defense of his own toughness.
The joke, of course, is that tough guys don’t sing about how tough they are. It’s territory that Johnson knows well—more than a few of his comedy roles have their foundation in the incongruity of seeing a guy who looks like a professional wrestler taking a ballet class with a bunch of little girls or being conscripted into Julie Andrews’ army of tooth fairies. Though these days, SNL’s been basing fewer sketches on how inherently hilarious it is for a man to wear a dress (maybe? hopefully?), I still wouldn’t be surprised to see “The Rock does ‘sissy’ stuff!” pop up as a gag more than once during tonight’s show.
But hopefully, there’ll be more to Johnson’s fourth Saturday Night Live turn than hoary gay panic jokes. By now, he’s a relatively seasoned pro (even if he hasn’t hosted in six years); he can handle more challenging, smarter material, and I’d love to see the show’s writers really rise to the occasion, especially considering how much time they’ve had to relax and reboot since their last episode. (They might even be able to use a few sketches that got left on the cutting-room floor last time, since Johnson and Chris Hemsworth are both action beefcakes.) There are One Direction jokes to be made, Fast and Furious movies to be parodied—and the potential for a real musical breakthrough from musical guest George Ezra, a 21-year-old British songsmith who has potential to be the next Sam Smith. (He’s already opened for Smith and the similarly soulful Hozier.)
What are you hoping to see from The Rock—sorry, Johnson—and George Ezra on SNL tonight? Discuss here, and check back in the morning for a full recap.
A pair of new clips have landed from Fast & Furious 7 (just Furious 7 in the US), in which Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel both go toe to toe with franchise newcomer Jason Statham in a pair of truly bone-shuddering fist-fights.
Statham is on villain duties in the new film, searching for revenge against the team that crippled his brother (Luke Evans) last time around. Top of his list? Johnson and Diesel.
Of the two showdowns, we’d say that Johnson vs. Statham probably shades it, if only for the broken glass factor. Shame the clip cuts before we see Johnson deliver the Rock Bottom…
Take a look at the new clips below…
Good to see that amid all the driving-out-of-a-plane mayhem, there’s still room in the new film for a couple of good old-fashioned punch-ups. We very much approve.
Directed by James Wan and co-starring Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson, Furious 7 will open in the UK and US on 3 April 2015.
The release of “Furious 7″ is a mixed emotional bag for all of its stars, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is no exception. But as he noted on TODAY Wednesday, now that the movie’s coming out in theaters, it gives him a great chance to talk about his co-star, the late Paul Walker.
“I couldn’t wait to talk about [the movie] because it’s an opportunity to talk about Paul,” he said. “I miss him, I love him. … It was an opportunity for us to try and find a balance between entertaining the audience but also paying a respectful tribute to him.”
Walker died in 2013 in a car crash while on hiatus from filming “Furious 7,” and Johnson notes, “Paul is beautifully honored at the end of the film.”
But there was lots more to talk about with Johnson, including:
Fighting ‘for real’ in the movie with Jason Statham
“He is one of the few movie stars who has a legitimate skill set in terms of fighting,” said Johnson. “We weren’t pulling a lot of punches … especially as it was in the body. If it was in the body, we thought, ‘Well, let’s just take it,’ as silly men do.”
One of Johnson’s upcoming projects is a “big, brash, rated ‘R'” take on the beach TV series, and after seeing Lauer in his 2013 “Baywatch” Halloween duds, Johnson noted, “You’ve got a lot of assets, Matt.”
He’s thrilled to host ‘Saturday Night Live’ for the fourth time this weekend
“For me, in 2000 when I first hosted, it gave me an opportunity to showcase a little bit of skill at that time, but it really broke me in terms of my career,” he said. “I love going back.”
Check out the videos to hear a lot more! Dwayne Johnson Furious7
“Furious 7″ opens in theaters on April 3.
Credit: Randee Dawn, The Today Show
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, star of Furious 7 and the only former WWF/WWE World Heavyweight Champion to host Saturday Night Live three times, will host the show once again on Saturday, March 28, almost 15 years to the day after his first hosting gig. Not only is that the week before Furious 7 opens, it’s also the night before Wrestlemania XXXI, where the Rock’s unofficial cousin Roman Reigns will be facing Brock Lesnar for the World title. If Vince McMahon wrote SNL, Johnson’s entire monologue would be about how great Roman Reigns is. (That is a wrestling joke for wrestling fans.)
If you haven’t seen the Rock on SNL during his previous appearances, you’ve missed out on one of the best recurring hosts of the last 15 years. It’s no surprise that he’s good at this job—Johnson is preternaturally charismatic. His likability and comic chops helped him become one of the most beloved wrestlers ever after initially floundering in the ring, and propelled him into one of the biggest careers in Hollywood today. He’s less an actor than a presence, which makes him a great host for a show like SNL. And with Obama over halfway through his second term, it’s a good time to see how much angrier The Rock Obama has gotten since the last time we saw him in March 2009.
Click below to view clip…