Carell is hosting this week with musical guest Ella Mai. The actor has a long history in comedy — particularly improvisation — but, now he is apparently testing the waters of stand-up as he returns to SNL. Unfortunately, it does not appear to go well for him.
"Is it just me, or does Christmas come earlier and earlier every year?" He said in a stereotypical stand-up cadence.
"Oh, don't test out your stand-up here, man," Thompson moaned.
"And how about turkey?" Carell went on, laughing. "Turkey makes me so tired!"
Neither Thompson nor Mai seemed to care for Carell's observational humor, though Mai did get in on the next clip. When asked what she was thankful for she said: "getting to be on SNL."
"Ugh, she took mine," Carell said.
"That can be yours too," Thompson said.
"No, I'll just say I'm thankful for family or whatever," he grumbled.
Carell is returning to Saturday Night Live and, in a sense, comedy this weekend. The actor has had a stint of dramatic, serious roles recently, including an upcoming movie called vice where he will play former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Another teaser on Saturday poked fun at Carell's transition into drama, and his sudden return. In it, he struggled dramatically to remember how to be funny, before Aidy Bryant finally reminded him with a fart joke.
In truth, Carell is a comedy legend going back nearly three decades. He got his start in Chicago's famous Second City improv troupe, where he met long-time collaborator Stephen Colbert. Carell worked in short-form comedy for years, including as a correspondent on The Daily Show and even in an animated short for SNL titled "The Ambiguously Gay Duo."
Once he became the star of The Office, Carell was a household name. The actor hosted SNL for the first time that year in 2005, along with musical guest Kanye West. He returned in 2008, 2013 and now will become a four-time host this weekend.
Carell is likely promoting his latest movie, Beautiful Boy, where he stars alongside Timothee Chalemet. The movie is based on two memoirs, and tells a story of crippling addiction. The film debuted last month, and it has already received rave reviews from casual movie-goers and critics alike.
SNL airs on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.