Eli Manning aiming for laughs on “SNL”

Eli Manning.

This might be a tougher crowd than a rowdy Giants stadium. Giants quarterback Eli Manning will stand under a different kind of spotlight Saturday night while hosting “Saturday Night Live,” his first time leading the sketch comedy show.

After scoring a Super Bowl win in 2008, Manning was invited to host the show, but opted not to because his brother, Peyton Manning, had just hosted himself — after winning the 2007 championship with the Indianapolis Colts.  

“I thought it might be a little fresh in everyone’s mind,” Manning said Wednesday. “I didn’t want to have to go up against tough competition and the great job that he performed.”

Since winning the Super Bowl, Manning has been undergoing offseason conditioning, and he said he would host the show only if it didn’t interrupt workouts. He lives in Hoboken with his wife and baby daughter.

He’ll face some stiff competition — Peyton’s performance was widely praised, in sketches that showed him teaching children how to break into cars and hitting one with a football during a coaching lesson.

If promos for the show are any hint, guests can expect Eli to toss a few footballs and crack jokes about his athletic prowess. Another toss-up is whether he’ll be paired with Rihanna, the show’s musical guest.

“SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels said he pursued Manning for years, calling him “charming.”

“You sort of believe that he doesn’t take himself that seriously,” Michaels said. “There’s this sort of essential modesty to him, and I think that plays well with what we do.”

“If the host is spending a lot of time protecting an image, it’s exhausting, particularly for us,”?he added.


Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.


SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.


MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…


U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…


Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.


Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm


Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.


Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."


3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…


3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…