“I love my mom, some of my favorite memories from growing up was watching ‘SNL’ every week,” and even though he had this “crippling shyness,” he would do anything to make her laugh — including an imitation of Gollum from “Lord of the Rings.”
Being silly with her, he said, is “what broke me out of my shell” and inspired his drive to be an actor. Butler, who got his start as a child actor on both Nickelodeon and Disney Channel shows, played Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s hit biopic, “Elvis.”
“Now, my mother is no longer with us, but I have been thinking about her a lot this week, just imagining of how proud she would be that her son is now standing on this stage,” Butler said, choking up.
“Any time you see me doing a funny voice or making a funny face, that is for you mom,” he said.
Butler also joked that he grew up in Anaheim, California, hence “the Southern accent” and said that he always sounded like Elvis Presley.
“I do want to address something. There’s people out there who say that ever since I’ve played Elvis my voice has changed — that it got deeper, more Elvis-y,” he said. “But that’s not true, I’ve always sounded like this and I can prove it. Here’s a clip from an interview I did 10 years ago.”
The show cut to an interview promoting “The Carrie Diaries” with his voice pitched high.
“We’ve stopped testing,” he said.
Butler also said that despite last year’s holiday show nearly being canceled due to COVID, the show developed a foolproof plan to ensure that doesn’t happen again.
Butler also talked about being “weird” growing up homeschooled with his sister, Ashley, who was in attendance celebrating her birthday.
“A lot of people don’t know that I’ve been acting since I was a kid,” he said, “studying ‘Raging Bull’ or ‘Taxi Driver.'”
“Put down the knife, you are scaring, iCarly,” Butler deadpanned.
“Saturday Night Live” stars Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, Bowen Yang, Chloe Fineman, Punkie Johnson, Andrew Dismukes and Michael Che and Colin Jost as the hosts of Weekend Update. The cast also includes James Austin Johnson, Sarah Sherman, Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker as featured players. Kent Sublette, Alison Gates and Streeter Seidell serve as the head writers for the show, while Liz Patrick directs.
Earlier in the night, NBC announced that the Dec. 17 episode would be Strong’s last.