The latest promo for Saturday Night Live features this week's host, Steve Carell, trying to recall how to do comedy.
Carell has a long and illustrious career in comedy, though he has branched out into more serious roles in recent years. In light of that, the promo features SNL cast members Aidy Bryant and Chris Redd expressing doubts as to whether or not he can pull off the show's silly brand of jokes.
"You're kind of a serious actor now," Bryant points out. "Are you ready to do comedy again?"
"Well, Aidy, I wouldn't worry," Carell said jovially. "An actor prepares, and I am an actor."
What follows is an over-the-top montage of Carell alone in a darkened room, trying to re-orient himself himself towards comedy. He sits frustrated, tearing pages with half-written jokes out of a notebook and yelling at himself. He jokes with himself in the mirror, using flimsy accents and even sits reading a fake book titled Re-Learning Comedy For Dramatic Actors.
The whole scene is made even more dramatic with a soundtrack of swelling strings. Finally, as Carell steps back out into the office, Bryant and Redd undercut the whole thing when the pitch a skit about farts and burps.
"It's good to be back," Carell said.
For many people, Carell is likely still best-known as the verbally clumsy boss on NBC's The Office. However, for the last several years his career has taken a different turn. Carell has appeared in several dramatic films, including Beautiful Boy with Timothee Chalamet, which just came out last month. Earlier this year he was also in Battle of the Sexes, and in an upcoming project he will play former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Still, all jokes aside Carell's comedic chops run much deeper than the promo suggests. Carell was a member of the famous Chicago improv comedy troupe The Second City, and from there made it onto TV on the cast of The Dana Carvey Show. His cast-mate Stephen Colbert helped make him a correspondent on The Daily Show, where he worked for six years before landing The Office.
Carell also had a hand in Saturday Night Live, in a way, as he did voice work on an animated short that appeared on the show. The skit was called "The Ambiguously Gay Duo," and it was produced by Robert Smigel.
Carell is hosting SNL this week with musical guest Ella Mai. The comedian has hosted the show before, once in 2013, once in 2008 and for the first time in 2005 when he was joined by musical guest Kanye West.
SNL airs at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.