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Jake Gyllenhaal Remembers His First SNL Monologue, 17 Years Ago: "It's Hard to Forget"

The Saturday Night Live Season 49 finale will mark the actor's third time hosting: "It's an honor. It's a great honor,."

By Christopher Rudolph

Jake Gyllenhaal is your Host for the Season 49 finale of Saturday Night Live — and for the Road House actor it feels like "graduation."

How to Watch

Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

"It's the season finale right before Season 50, which is... amazing. Being on the show has always been a dream," Gyllenhaal told NBC’s Mark Barger in a new interview. "I got to do it for the first time, do it again, and then the finale feels like some sort of graduation of having been able to survive and do it. It's an honor. It's a great honor."

RELATED: Watch Jake Gyllenhaal and Maya Rudolph's Perfect "Bronx Beat" Ahead of SNL's Finale

When the 43-year-old, who previously hosted SNL on January 13, 2007, and most recently on April 9, 2022, is asked what he remembers about his first time hosting he says, "I remember my very first monologue, I remember singing Dreamgirls, and I remember having a dress on underneath a suit. And I remember hoping, so hoping that it wouldn't reveal until the moment."  

"But also being dragged around to set, [a production member] throws a wig on you and you don't even realize," he continues. "It's just, it's hard to remember any of it, but it's also hard to forget. There's nothing like this."

It's been a big year for Gyllenhaal who had a knockout hit with Road House — for which a sequel was just announced. Now he's about to star in his first television series, Presumed Innocent, and he's heading back to Broadway in 2025, starring in a revival of Shakespeare's Othello with Denzel Washington.

Jake Gyllenhaal on hosting SNL and starring in Othello on Broadway with Denzel Washington

Jake Gyllenhaal during a promo for saturday night live

"It's a dream to be working with an actor like Denzel. It's a dream to be working on William Shakespeare. I've never done that before. So I'm giving it the time that I think it deserves to try and bring it to the audiences here, because there's nothing I love more than Broadway," says the Oscar-nominated actor when asked about his upcoming return to Broadway.

RELATED: Who's Hosting Saturday Night Live's Season Finale?

"I want to give audiences everything I can. So I can't wait. I've done some Shakespeare, yes, but never professionally. It's a little different starring alongside Denzel, but that's what you dream of. You dream of incredible text, incredible material with an incredible partner. That happens a lot, but rarely does it happen with a legend."

Jake Gyllenhaal and Bowen Yang Can't Get Sabrina Carpenter's Song Out of Their Heads

Gyllenhaal has become something of a SNL legend himself, and we can't wait to see how he helps close out Season 49.

Watch Jake Gyllenhaal on Saturday Night Live May 18 at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC, streaming the next day on Peacock.