Jon Hamm Makes Surprise ‘SNL’ Cameo to Emphasize the Importance of Protecting Our Character Actors

In these trying times, “Saturday Night Live” wants character actors of all stripes to be extra careful when walking around New York City — but Jon Hamm can relax.

10 days after Steve Buscemi was hospitalized after being unexpectedly punched in the face, NBC’s late-night show mocked the situation with a lighthearted sketch about protecting our actors who are recognizable but not necessarily household names. Host Jake Gyllenhaal appeared as an NYPD officer urging actors to stay safe while briefing reporters about the issue.

“Just this week, national treasure Steve Buscemi was punched while walking through Kips Bay,” he said. “These types of attacks cannot and will not be tolerated. So to everyone watching, I have one important message: Stop punching character actors in the face.” 

Gyllenhaal went on to explain that he believes Buscemi’s attack could be the start of a larger wave of crimes against character actors. He singled out actors like Paul Giamatti, Rick Moranis, and Michael Stuhlbarg as the types of performers who could be high-risk targets of the imagined crime wave.

“When you’re walking in New York, you may be at risk if you’ve ever been on the TV show ‘Boardwalk Empire,’” he said. “Or you have a face that makes casting directors go, ‘Oh, interesting.’ Or your IMDB page has over 100 entries but all your characters just have a first name.”

The sketch featured a surprise appearance from Jon Hamm, who appeared to be curious whether he constituted a “character actor.” The “Mad Men” star and “SNL” regular expressed relief when Gyllenhaal assured him there was nothing to worry about.

“Oh, good,” Hamm said. “I can’t get punched. Without this beautiful face, I’m just a tall guy with a perfect body.”

Watch the “NYPD Press Conference” sketch from the Season 49 finale of “Saturday Night Live” below.

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