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Watch: 'SNL' goes goblin mode on Christmas host & ‘Dune 2’ star Austin Butler

Sure, he knows how to strut like Elvis Presley, but does Butler have what it takes to steal the Roast Beast?

By Benjamin Bullard
Austin Butler

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which means this weekend marks the last wonderful time Saturday Night Live fans will have with an all-new live broadcast before the vaunted NBC comedy staple takes a brief but well-earned holiday hiatus.

Ringing in the season for this weekend’s Dec. 17 show is the super-cool Austin Butler — or so the actor thinks, at least, in the funny new teaser that sets up his Christmas hosting gig. The star of this year’s Baz Luhrmann-directed Elvis biopic swaggers onto the SNL set like the King himself…before the full indignity of hamming it up in lowbrow comedy sketches comes closing in, quite literally, right around his ears.

Check it out:

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Those popped buttons and his sleek black suit don’t look quite so spiffy once Butler’s strutty handsome act ends up landing him down in “Christmas goblin” town, eh?  It’s gotta feel downright claustrophobic inside the Grinch-y getup, which only leaves us torn about whether the show should just stand Butler up this weekend and make him do the whole opening monologue while sweating it out from behind the freaky green mask.

Clearly a good sport about all the impish ignominy that no doubt lies in store this weekend, Butler’s at least comfortable around practical effects, be they goblin masks, zombie eyes, or superhero capes. He’s set to star next November in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, after a career that’s already seen him dance with the undead in Jim Jarmusch’s Bill Murray zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die, not to mention showing up on the small screen in years past in sci-fi and fantasy turns on Arrow and The Shanarra Chronicles.

Lizzo is this weekend’s featured musical guest, though there’s no early word yet on whether she’ll be sporting Butler’s gnarly Krampus look. For her, it’s SNL appearance No. 3, though Butler’s Dec. 17 gig will be a true trial by the ol’ Yule-log fire: It’s the actor’s first-ever turn taking the reins of the celebrity-hosted series, now in its 48th season.

Looking for more SNL laughs? Every episode is now streaming on Peacock.