James McAvoy’s stint as host of Saturday Night Live included lots of little eccentricities, like the fact that he wore a kilt for his opening monologue and whipped out every parcel of cutesy Scottish jargon in the book for the air traffic controller skit. As is custom for actors of his ilk, McAvoy also decided to revisit one of his most famous characters, and rather than reprise the Beast for a Glass bit or break our hearts as Robbie Turner from Atonement again, he decided to throw on a few patches of horse hair and become Mr. Tumnus once more.
For the uninitiated, Tumnus is the faun who serves the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and, well, despite the fact that his bottom half is inhuman, he’s actually pretty handsome, and those who grew up watching the fantasy films might have developed a bit of a baby crush on him that’s since matured alongside them.
Enter Christine (Cecily Strong), Tova (Aidy Bryant) and Rebeccas with an S (Kate McKinnon), a group of “Lazy Hermiones” who aren’t afraid to embrace their long-held infatuation with the centaur in the skit.
“I wanna put my thumbnus in your bumnus,” says Rebeccas. “Mama wants a boyfriend she can pet.”
For his part, Tumnus does understand the appeal. “Let me guess. It was my non-threatening masculinity. I’m sort of jacked, but in a little bit of a British way, you know?” he says. “To you, I am the perfect combination of man, animal, scarf and flute music. I’m like Frodo but without the baggage and drama.”
In other words, yes, McAvoy knows that there’s a whole generation of Narnia fans who had the hots for his horseman alter ego, and he’s fine with it. What a relief.
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Aaron PaulPhoto: David Livingston
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC.