“What I’ve learned is that these monologues, they should be a little funny, but they should also be heartfelt. Sort of like a best man speech at a wedding. And tonight, well, I’d like to be your best man,” the four-time SNL host said.
“When I first officially met SNL in 2008, I was like, ‘This guy’s crazy.’ You were doing sketches about some guy named Barack and I hadn’t done a Marvel movie yet, so I was still treating people pretty well. Man, times have changed.”
Rudd first hosted the long-running sketch comedy series in November 2008, acting as host again in December 2010 and a third time in December 2013. Rudd’s Season 44 appearance marks his first time on SNL since first premiering as Scott Lang in Marvel Studios blockbuster Ant-Man in July 2015.
“The majority of my career has been doing comedies, and I was always that guy, so I completely understand. Playing a comic book character is different from anything I have ever done before, and that was a huge appeal to me. I wanted to do something unexpected. I’m grateful that Marvel took a chance with me. It’s been really gratifying.”
Director Peyton Reed later told EW Rudd was perfect for the role, saying Rudd’s humor and everyman status made the concept of Ant-Man more palatable.
“It was important to have a guy like Paul take you into this weird world of Ant-Man. Ant-Man has two powers: He can shrink and control ants — those are pretty strange powers,” Reed said in 2015.0comments
“Audiences identify with Paul. And they identify with him particularly in this movie as their eyes and ears. If the audience thinks something is strange in the movie, it’s a good bet that Rudd’s character reacts in the same way. It’s part of the fun.”
Rudd has since appeared as the character four times, reprising the role in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, last summer’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, and the $2 billion-plus grosser Avengers: Endgame. Rudd, alongside Wasp co-star Evangeline Lilly, also appears in the video portion of Hong Kong Disneyland attraction Ant-Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle.