Narrator: Ladies and gentlemen, Idris Elba.[Cheers and applause] [Idris Elba walks in the door and to the stage] [Cheers and applause]
Idris Elba: Wow! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Listen, I’m Idris Elba. And it is great to be here hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’. [Cheers and applause]
Before this, the closest thing I did to a comedy was ‘The Wire’. [Laughter] And this is really amazing, I mean, you have no idea how honestly grateful I am to be here tonight. About 20 years ago, I was working down the street from this building on Broadway. Not as an actor, as a doorman. I was the bouncer at Caroline’s comedy club on 49th and Broadway. [Cheers and applause] Thank you. Now, that was my night job when I started in this country. This time of year, I would be standing outside freezing my bollocks off. I mean, it was a decent job, though. I made some great contacts. By which I mean, I sold weed. [Laughter] I’m not proud of it, it’s just a fact. I did get some auditions, I’d walk in for a role, say Brooklyn Gangster number one. The casting director would look at me intrigued and I would say my line. [With accent] “Yo, we’re going to run the big apple tonight, mate?” Yeah, I didn’t get the part. My mom would call me from London and say, “Idris, you have to have a backup plan”. I said, “Listen, mom, relax, I have a backup plan, don’t worry. I’m a D.J.” [Laughter] She would cry. After couple of years of that, I thought it was time to pack it in and get a real job, like a full time drug dealer. [Laughter] But, my sister, bless her heart, she had a actual job. She worked at Bad Boy Records. You know, Puffy was my biggest inspiration. Biggie was my favorite rapper. But it was a bad time because Biggie had just died and my sister. My sister took me to this Biggie memorial, and everyone was there. I mean, everyone. It was like being at a wax museum where wax figures were smoking blunts and drinking. It was so surreal. I remember thinking, “If it’s possible for me to be standing in this room right now, then anything is possible.” So, I decided I wouldn’t give up on my dream and that was 22 years ago to this day. [Cheers and applause]
Thank you. A few years after that, I got an audition for a small pilot called ‘The Wire’. And now I’m in the building where Television started, in the city, where hip-hop started. And I’m hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’. [Cheers and applause] So we gonna run the big apple tonight mate. We have a great show for you. Khalid is here. So stick around and we’ll be right back.