As Saturday Night Live funnyman Jason Sudeikis entered the opening night performance of Broadway’s new musical Elf, the comedian understood one challenge laying ahead of show star Sebastian Arcelus better than anyone else in the audience. “I’m curious to see how [Sebastian Arcelus] plays Will Ferrell’s part,” Sudeikis told Broadway.com “As an actor playing George W. Bush on Saturday Night Live, I know what it’s like having to follow in his footsteps. They’re big shoes to fill. My heart goes out to him.”
Ferrell, who starred in the original 2003 Elf film, played George W. Bush on the iconic late night sketch series until he left the show in 2002. He even took his popular impression to Broadway in 2009 with the Tony-nominated one-man show, You’re Welcome America. Sudeikis took over duties parodying the 43rd president when he joined the show’s cast in 2003. He has since performed impressions of many other famous figures, including David Letterman, Jon Bon Jovi and Broadway veterans Taylor Hicks, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Harry Connick Jr.
Sudeikis also has another personal link to the Elf musical: his uncle, former Cheers and Hairspray star George Wendt, stars as Santa Claus. “I have one [family member in the show] that I know, but I haven’t seen the [program] yet so who knows who else is there,” Sudeikis cracked. So any chance we’ll see Sudeikis on a Broadway stage sometime soon? “I might rush the stage tonight if I really like it, but that’d be it,” he laughed. Judging by Broadway.com’s photos from the show’s curtain call, it looks like Sudeikis was able to maintain his excitement and stay put!
Click below to watch a 2009 Saturday Night Live clip featuring Sudeikis taking on Broadway's notorious masked man, The Phantom of the Opera, alongside Broadway favorite Neil Patrick Harris and music superstar Taylor Swift.