In his opening monologue, Benedict Cumberbatch tonight made his second appearance as host of SNL, referred to his new film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which was released in theatres in the United States on Friday, as per Deadline.
“I am thrilled to be back hosting Saturday Night Live. It’s been a really fun, great week. I’ve got to be honest though, because most of the sketch writers this week, they pitched me sketches every day, and most were about Doctor Strange,” said Cumberbatch up top. “It’s great. I love the guy. I love playing the character. The film’s doing really well—but I have been in other films.”
Cumberbatch joked that he told Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live about it, to which Michaels replied, “Like what?”
“I said, ‘Well, The Power of the Dog, for example’ and he said, ‘Nobody saw it.’ I said, ‘Come on, man. I was nominated for an Oscar for that. I did okay,’” recalled the host. “I mean, I didn’t win. I was beaten by Will Smith…No, not physically.”
After alluding to the infamous Oscars slap, Cumberbatch pivoted to discuss his excitement at being able to host SNL‘s Mother’s Day show. “Of course, I want to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to my mum,” he said. “She’s actually on holiday in Greece at the moment and SNL offered to fly her here first-class, and she said, ‘No, I’m on a beach in Greece. Are you insane?’”
Cumberbatch then told his mother he loves her, noting that when he was younger, he and his mum used to have “these weird, funny names” they’d call each other by. “I called her ‘Pookie,’” he said, “and she called me ‘Benedict Cumberbatch.’”
Later, he joked, “I went off to a boarding school outside of London—you might have heard of it—called Hogwarts.”
His mother would write him “these amazing letters” full of lovely artwork while he was there. “I can’t do that for her here, obviously,” Cumberbatch noted, “but I thought I’d use a bit of this monologue to thank her for all that she’s done for me.”
As sentimental piano music began playing, Cumberbatch transitioned to address his mother directly. “Hey, mum. It’s me, your son—little Benedict,” he said. “Thank you for always being there for me.”
Cumberbatch shared that growing up, whenever he had a problem, his mother had a solution. “For instance, when I lost my two front teeth, I was worried about being teased but you said, ‘It’s okay. Just try and smile without opening your mouth,’” he recalled. “It’s great advice, but it also explains why to this day, in every red carpet photograph, I’m smiling like this.”
Cut to a shot of Cumberbatch with a strange grimace instead of a smile.
“Seriously though mum, thank you,” he said. “You’ve shown me so much love and support, every step of the way. I love you, Pookie.”
Cumberbatch’s wife Sophie, who was in the audience for the show, was also acknowledged tonight. “I’m seriously in constant, constant awe of you. I mean, for a start, you gave birth to our three beautiful boys, and that alone is a minor miracle, as any woman will tell you,” he said. “Meanwhile, according to you, I was off dressed as a wizard—though technically it’s a sorcerer.”
After explaining why wizards wear robes, as opposed to his Marvel character Doctor Strange, who wears a cloak, he went on to say that he hopes his wife realizes that their contributions as parents are equal. “Because if you think being a mum is hard, try doing this,” he said with a flip of his wrist. “Yeah, I just opened a portal. You’re welcome.”
Arcade Fire will perform with Cumberbatch on tonight’s episode.