Is Kit Harington Actually Funny? An Investigation

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Jon Snow isn't exactly the most electrifying Game Of Thrones character. His backstory is certainly based in intrigue, due to his mysterious parentage and possible claim to the Iron Throne. But, when Kit Harington comes on screen, you know it won't be a moment of comic relief. His portrayal of the soldier-turned-leader involves a lot of dark stares and inner turmoil, so naturally, he was the one picked to host Saturday Night Live this weekend.
GoT favorites like Peter Dinklage and Jason Momoa have already had their turn at the variety show, which has done its fair share of Game Of Thrones sketches over the HBO show's eight-season arc. But to land the King of the North himself opens up a whole new world for the cast and crew — pending, of course, if Kit Harington is funny.
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It's not Harington's fault that I don't immediately double over at the thought of him appearing in a cold open. In the past few years, his roles have pretty much been limited to a sad orphan, Guy Fawkes co-conspirator, and grieving actor. Even his interviews have understandably been somewhat subdued, given that they've been about sad orphans, Guy Fawkes co-conspirators, and grieving actors.
"I'm intermittently terrified and confident," Harington said on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday ahead of his SNL debut. "One minute I'm shaking with terror in my dressing room going, 'Why did I ever agree to do this I'm the most unfunny person in the world,' and the next minute I'm like, king of comedy."
So which is it? Let's find out.
Come with me back to 2015, when Harington appeared in a sketch on Late Night With Seth Meyers.
Game Of Thrones had been on for a couple of years, but this was the first time Harington participated in any kind of comedic take on the show or his character. It was a pretty easy leap since the sketch just required him to be Jon Snow. While everyone else tries to have a normal dinner party, Snow rains on the parade. In fact, the whole joke of the sketch ends up being that Jon Snow is not funny and is difficult to be around. Hmmm, a good start!
A month later, however, things get more playful. Harington, along with the rest of the Game Of Thrones cast, teamed up with Coldplay for a sketch in honour of Red Nose Day that explores the question that will definitely be answered one day: What if Game Of Thrones was a musical?
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Rather than playing Jon Snow, this sketch just required Harington to be himself. Or rather, a heightened version of himself that involved singing a song called "Wildling" to the tune of "Wild Thing" and riffing about his character's virginity, culminating with a wink to his then-girlfriend, now-wife Rose Leslie.
This 12-minute sketch? Funny! Huzzah!
Two years went by before Harington decided to give comedy another go. This time, he was done playing it safe. He showed up on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to attempt the most contentious comedy of all: character work.
In this fake series of auditions, Harington dons wigs, dresses, and even fake breasts to parody of all his co-stars' characters. It's basically a speed-dating version of what Saturday Night Live is sure to put him through this weekend, judging by a recent promo for the episode.
When it comes to parodying Game Of Thrones, it's confirmed that Harington can pull it off. But how will he fare next to Melissa Villaseñor's Lady Gaga impression, or opposite Alec Baldwin in an inevitable Donald Trump sketch? That's uncharted territory beyond the wall — but as we know, Jon Snow has no problem charging right into it.
Saturday Night Live airs this Saturday at 11:30 p.m.
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