Photo-Illustration: Lined; Photos: Getty
Tuesday, the New York Job reported that America’s favorite comedian Colin Jost (just kidding) has sold his West Village duplex for $2.5 million. Jost bought the place in 2011, six years after joining Saturday Night Live as a writer, and the photos in the listing make the place look…huh? Jost has furnished his house like someone who doesn’t know what to do with his design budget. The downstairs has a loveseat awkwardly tucked into one corner and a sad little breakfast table blocking Juliet’s balcony doors. The cramped kitchen cabinets are done in a confusing yellow, the kind that only exists in the natural world for tropical frogs to signal, “Don’t eat me!” I am poisonous! The “master bedroom” has cold pre-renovation tile floors, and the other bedroom has a very ugly bed facing a bathtub. In the bedroom. At the foot of the bed. Most sinister of all is the small basement lair, decorated only with an ominous lamppost and a lone, presumably autographed soccer ball resting on the TV console. According to me, Jost’s house has two indoor shrubs, an old washboard leaning against a window, a magazine folder with no magazine, six cups on the bar cart, and zero books. It’s not really a surprise that the place has no signs of human life – not because Jost isn’t a real boy but because he’s most likely spent the past few years crashing at his wife, Scarlett Johansson. Just look at their well-appointed faux elevated suburban home in the Super Bowl commercial they did for Amazon this year: ThisThis is how we expect an established celebrity with a stable TV income who is married to one of the highest paid actresses in the world to live.
There is at least one answer to the question we ask ourselves at Curbed: Why do the men of SNL to live in such horrible apartments? It may be, as in the case of Jost, that they tend to date, somehow luring stars out of their league into relationships: segment director Dave McCary and Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, Dan Aykroyd and Carrie Fisher, Pete Davidson and… everyone. Again and again, these guys recreate the early sitcom dynamics of the zhlub-y funny dude with a traditionally good-looking partner. If you’ve ever had a roommate whose boyfriend flopped all the time because his own house was unimaginable hell, couples of SNL are wholesale (and with much higher rents).
Davidson’s home has always been at the center of its history. For several years in his time at SNL, he still lived with his mother – and not only: he lived in the basement of his mother’s house. It was a Rorschach test: you could see it as a red flag or as Davidson being a humble mommy’s boy unaffected by fame. But during that time he dated Cazzie David, Ariana Grande, Kate Beckinsale and Margaret Qualley, who I assume all had houses above ground where he could stay, freeing Davidson to leave his discharge unchanged . (Actually, I think David may still have been living at home. They were so good to each other.)
In December 2020, Davidson purchased his own home, a $1.2 million two-bedroom condo in Staten Island. The place had been staged quite strangely: walls with sickly princess-purple accents paired with a dining set done in a washed-out aqua, a dark brown bedroom set, and a humble swathe of Astroturf on its water-facing patio. At the time when he put it on sale in 2022, he had redecorated, painted over purple, and added a foosball table and — inevitably — a fraternity black leather sofa. Again, a SNL boy was improving his life situation after reuniting with a prominent partner: in this case, Kim K.
The foosball and the sofa hint at another answer to the question of the doubtful SNL housing for men: these guys live on a student schedule. SNL actors, writers and producers work all night Tuesday and late into the evening the rest of the week from October to May. Each episode’s tight production schedule is structured so that the team lives in a perpetual state of paperwork. Glimpses of their office spaces and the routines make these guys feel like they never left the Pamphlet house, instead of just taking it with them downtown. Just as a dormitory has a built-in ephemeral, so do the houses of these SNL Men. Likewise, that mindset that breaks the rules of a first apartment or fraternity, that pushes the boundaries of what a living space should be, is reflected in some of their design choices.
As seen in – and you should take a deep breath here – Jimmy Fallon’s former home.
In 2002, four years after the start of his SNL term, Fallon bought a unit in a Gramercy Park co-op for $850,000. Simple enough? No. Over the next two decades, as his career progressed from SNL at The show tonight, Fallon purchased three more units across three floors of the building, assembling them like mad into a veritable Frankenstein’s monster of a triplex. When Fallon put the place up for sale for $15 million in 2021, photos revealed a veritable Mr. Magorium Horrorium of carefully planned eccentricity. There was a rug-lined room centered around an antler chandelier worthy of Gaston; a busy cowboy-wallpapered pantry filled with about 500 cans of Progresso soup and featuring a small door that appears to be for child waiters; and a stair carpet that looks like someone skinned the aliens Avatar. These weren’t fancy touches; they were fantasy rams, a maniacally eclectic approach to interior design that suggests some sort of psychic influence from Studio 8H, where every week a dozen sets ranging from outer space to fake game shows are built and demolished.
His Hamptons home, meanwhile, has a slide where the stairs should be. This makes the Big the loft looks positively minimalist.
Beck Bennett showed off his Los Angeles home in a May 2020 episode of SNL at home, when cast members assembled jury sketches from their respective isolation pods. The place is a mix of nice and kinda crappy which almost feels refreshing Ordinary. The sketch is a parody of a Architectural Summary celebrity home visit: It has a nice enough dining table (in the sense of catering equipment), but it’s cluttered with household trash and a messy bookshelf seems to see real traffic. The moldings are nice, but the blinds are cheap. A fireplace in vomit-brown tiles is used to store various bric-a-brac. He spends the last minute of the video pointing out cracks in the walls. I live like that. Maybe you live like that. But I don’t half a million dollars (more or less) per year.
Writer Julio Torres, recently absent from the series, is the exception that proves the rule. Torres’ work, including SNL sketches like “Papyrus” and “Leverageis interested in the comic potential of aesthetics and design. Her mother is an architect and fashion designer, her sister is a designer, and Torres collaborates with them and her artist friends on custom pieces for her. apartment and office, favoring unconventional shapes and primary colors. It takes unique levels of thoughtfulness and thought to overcome Torres’ straight-line curse SNL counterparts and their sad spaces. But to the rest of these men of SNL, we say, Damn, bitch, you live like that?