David Byrne jokes around in ‘SNL’ promo ahead of this weekend’s performance

 Rosalind O'Connor/NBC
Rosalind O'Connor/NBC

David Byrne jokes around and plays the straight man in a series of promos for his appearance as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

Byrne appears in the promos with host John Mulaney and cast member Heidi Gardner.  In one, he and Mulaney gift Gardner a crown and sash to mark her first-ever appearance in a promo. In another, Gardner tells Mulaney she’s “freaking out” that David Byrne is standing next to them.

In a third promo, Byrne and Gardner express disappointment when Mulaney informs them that there’s actually a show this Saturday — according to Byrne, he thought they were “just hanging out, like friends do.”  When Mulaney confirms that there is, in fact, a show, Byrne complains, “Worst hangout ever.”

In the fourth, Byrne is enthusiastic about seeing Mulaney’s puppet, which he tries to pretend doesn’t exist, despite Gardner encouraging him to show it to the former Talking Heads frontman.

As previously reported, Byrne will perform his renditions of Talking Heads’ 1983 hit “Burning Down the House,” and the 2008 tune “Toe Jam” on SNL with the cast of his hit Broadway stage production David Byrne’s American Utopia.

This weekend’s Saturday Night Live performance will be Byrne’s first since 1989; he also performed on SNL with Talking Heads in February 1979.

American Utopia ended its initial run at New York’s Hudson Theatre on February 16, but it’ll return for a new 17-week engagement that starts September 18 and winds down January 17, 2021.  Spike Lee is also directing a movie version of the show.

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