Jesse Eisenberg: Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Saturday Night Live
The Social Network star Jesse Eisenberg and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg visited Saturday Night Live this past weekend.
Jesse Eisenberg tackled the task with brilliance when he portrayed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the hit movie The Social Network then he met him on the Saturday Night Live stage this past weekend. I would imagine playing a real person in a movie can be a daunting task. Especially if that person is still alive and even more so if that person is well known. I would imagine then meeting that person (especially if the movie was not too flattering towards them) could be a potentially scary thought.
For those who haven’t seen it, The Social Network tells the (supposedly) true story of how Facebook came to be. The Social Network portrays Mark Zuckerberg as being a socially outcast guy of questionable morals who steals ideas from friends and ultimately creates the site as a means of getting laid. Jesse Eisenberg is brilliant in the role and it has rightfully garnered him an Oscar nomination.
As Eisenberg takes the stage at the beginning of Saturday Night Live to do his monologue he, as you would expect, talks about The Social Network. Andy Samberg then comes out doing his impersonation of Zuckerberg. As the skit goes on the camera cuts backstage where we see Saturday Night Live producer Loren Michaels talking to the real Zuckerberg (who, in the only real funny part in this whole thing, is dressed exactly like Samberg). Zuckerberg tells Michaels that Eisenberg and Samberg are nerds and that he invented poking. He then makes his way onstage and the two meet. Samberg gets a laugh as he leaves then Jesse Eisenberg and Zuckerberg talk. When asked if he has seen the movie Zuckerberg said he has and that it was “interesting.”
The problem in all of this is that it isn’t really funny. Zuckerberg only has a few lines and he is clearly reading them from a card. I understand that he isn’t an actor, but his awkwardness really slows things down. Eisenberg said afterward that he and Zuckerberg had a good talk and that he was thankful that he took the time to appear on the show.
For me the best line came from Twitter user Josh Cagan who tweeted of Mark Zuckerberg’s performance that “Mark Zuckerberg has the same flair for comedy that he has for giving a fuck about user privacy.” It was a nice little slam. I’m not so sure what motivated Zuckerberg to do this appearance, but in the end, like most of Saturday Night Live, it was pretty forgetful.
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