Eli Manning is following in the footsteps of his brother, Peyton, when he is host of "Saturday Night Live" this week.
Of the two, who's the funnier Manning?
"We won't know that till Saturday," Lorne Michaels deadpanned to reporters on Wednesday.
And Eli knows that from experience.
After Peyton was host of the show in 2007 to big ratings and heaps of acclaim, Eli was offered a chance to do it. He declined.
Eli wanted his brother to have his moment in the spotlight with "Saturday Night Live," and the chance for Eli also to be host came a little too soon.
When Eli finally let producers know he'd be open to doing the show, he got advice from Peyton about how to handle it. First off: Loosen up. "That's the good thing about 'Saturday Night Live.' You can kind of come in, and maybe express a different side other people don't see," Eli said during the phone conference Wednesday to promote his guest-host stint.
"Maybe that's not you all the times, but, for that night, you can let loose. I don't mind making fun of myself or making jokes at my expense.
"It's important to have that attitude going into this."
Doing "Saturday Night Live" is more than just showing up and reading off cue cards. Eli, producers and the writers looked over 40 to 45 sketches then whittled that to around a dozen that could be used on the show.
The Manning brothers grew up watching "Saturday Night Live." Eli's personal favorite moments include the Chippendale's bit with Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze.
But Eli admits he's anxious about being host. It's one to sit at home and watch. It's another to be on the other side of things. "Saturday will tell a lot," Eli said.
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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