Austin Butler Shares The SNL Advice He Got From Christopher Walken (& Nails The Impression)


  • Austin Butler sought advice from Christopher Walken on hosting SNL and was encouraged to do it by the experienced host.
  • Butler was initially nervous about the opportunity but gained confidence from Walken’s advice.
  • Walken’s advice was simple: “Just read the cue cards.”

Dune: Part Two star Austin Butler shares the SNL hosting advice he got from Christopher Walken. Having enjoyed a meteoric rise to superstardom thanks to his Oscar-nominated performance as the King of Rock and Roll in the musical biopic Elvis, Butler in 2022 got his chance to serve as host of TV’s most iconic sketch comedy show. Now Butler will switch gears entirely, playing terrifying bad guy Feyd-Rautha in the highly-anticipated sequel to Dune: Part One.

Butler was indeed anything but terrifying when he hosted Saturday Night Live, and in a new appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live alongside some of his fellow Dune: Part Two cast members, he told a hilarious story of seeking SNL advice from seven-time host Walken (who plays emperor Shaddam IV in the Dune sequel). Butler also took the opportunity to offer his Walken impression, and Kimmel gave it his seal of approval. Check out the Feyd-Rautha actor’s remarks below (around 12:00 of the clip):

When we were filming a scene with him, the offer had just come in for me to do Saturday Night Live, and I was so nervous and I wanted to say no. So I asked [Timothée Chalamet] about it. I was trying to ask anybody who had done it before, because I just was so terrified. And at one point I thought, well [Walken] has done it so many times and he’s one of the best hosts. So I said, “Chris, what do you think of Saturday Night Live? Should I do it?” And he goes, “You got to do it.” He said, “Just read the cue cards.”

Why Christopher Walken Is Considered One Of SNL’s Greatest Hosts

Christopher Walken emotes in the Cowbell sketch from SNL

Saturday Night Live has given Walken seven chances to serve as host, earning him the coveted 5-Timers Club jacket, along with such renowned stars as Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, John Goodman and Tom Hanks. That honor would be enough to rank him among the show’s best hosts, but he also delivered one of the most iconic moments in the show’s history, 2000’s “More Cowbell” sketch, in which he portrayed a music producer calling for more of a certain instrument during the recording of Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper.”

Walken first hosted SNL in 1990, and last hosted in 2008.

Walken’s distinctively oddball style of line delivery – the very thing that makes him so fun to imitate – allows him to inject strange hilarity into even the most random moment, and never was that more in evidence than in the SNL “More Cowbell” sketch. It’s yet to be seen how Walken’s particular talents lend themselves to his portrayal of the Emperor in Dune: Part Two, but given his long track record as one of Hollywood’s great character actors, it’s certain that he will bring a memorable vibe to his role in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune sequel.

Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube

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Saturday Night Live

The longest-running sketch-comedy/satire show on television, premiering in 1975, Saturday Night Live is a weekly series that features new hosts for each episode, with a core cast of actors and comedians that rotate over time. Episodes feature several skits that are sometimes ad-libbed on the fly, with the hosts engaging in most of them, and also provide musical guest performances that cap off each night. 

Release Date
October 11, 1975

Leslie Jones , Aidy Bryant , Kyle Mooney , Alex Moffat , Kate McKinnon , Beck Bennett , Kenan Thompson , Colin Jost , Mikey Day , Cecily Strong , Michael Che , Pete Davidson , Melissa Villaseñor



Colin Jost

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