Jason Bateman Recalls How a Monkey Tried to Kill Him During His First SNL Hosting Gig

In his Saturday Night Live monologue last night, Jason Bateman recalled how a monkey tried to bite his nose off the first time he hosted the show.

The Ozark star joked that his return to SNL came 15 years after his first "so you know I made a hell of an impression."

And he also told the story of how a chimpanzee called Mikey tried to kill him at the end of that show.

Bateman explained that he hosted a 2005 SNL episode that included a sketch where a monkey threw poop at celebrities, portrayed by cast members. But it was at the end of the show, according to Bateman, that the monkey tried to maim him.

"Something kind of weird happened the last time I hosted," Bateman said.

Noting that if the sketch was being done today, the show would likely have used a puppet or "a kid in a fuzzy suit."

"Back then, they used a real, male adult chimpanzee... this was 2005, things were loose," he said.

"Things were so loose that at the end of the show, the monkey was allowed to take a bow with us, up here, we're all hugging, we're saying goodnight, the credits are rolling and then the monkey tried to kill me."

Nodding soberly, Bateman added: "Truly. I bent down to say 'good job' to the monkey, being nice, I'm a nice fella, but not the chimp. The chimp unhinges his jaw, he flashes his teeth and he tries to bite my entire nose off."

Insisting that it was a true story, Bateman explains that monkeys "hate that humans have faces and they want to remove them."

He even played a clip of the moment the chimp went for his face, adding: "It doesn't look like much, but I had the horror angle."

Bateman also jokingly called out the SNL cast members who were there, including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers, for carrying on as if nothing had happened.

"I am smiling but inside I'm thinking a monkey just attacked me and nobody cares," he said. "They just keep hugging."

Bateman said the monkey had apologized to him in his dressing room after the show. "Honest to God, he shuffles over to me, puts his hand up on my shoulder as if to say, 'I'm sorry'," he said.

Dscribing it as a "beautiful moment," Bateman joked the animal was nevertheless "destroyed."

"Lessons have to be learned," he said, before reassuring viewers at the end of his monologue that the chimp was still alive.

Jason Bateman
Jason Bateman during his Saturday Night Live opening monologue. NBC/Saturday Night Live