According to Deadline, Pete Davidson is going to star as George Bailey in a virtual table read of It’s A Wonderful Life hosted by Tom Bergeron, with proceeds going to The Ed Asner Family Center (which raises money to help children with special needs). Davidson will be joined by Maude Apatow, Mia Farrow, Ellie Kemper, Carol Kane, Ed Begley Jr., Diedrich Bader, Bill Pullman, Richard Kind, B.D. Wong, Michael Shannon, and some “special surprise guests,” which is such a ridiculous cast that we almost feel comfortable saying it’s better than the original. It would be absurd to say something like that, so we won’t, but still. (Unless a special surprise guest is the ghost of Jimmy Stewart, but that seems unlikely.)
Deadline says Apatow is playing Violet Bick, but we don’t know who the rest of these people will be playing. Kemper will probably be Mary, Kind will probably be Clarence, and we’d bet on Begley for Mr. Potter (a meta-inversion of the actor’s groovy hippie attitude), but we have no idea what It’s A Wonderful Life character Michael Shannon could possibly play. The disembodied voice of God? He looks kind of like original director Frank Capra, but that… doesn’t really seem relevant.
Now, there is an elephant in the room here that deserves to be discussed. Before you rush down to the comments to express your shock and horror at the idea of Pete Davidson (the guy from SNL with tattoos who almost married Ariana Grande) playing George Bailey (a deeply honest and good man whose soul is so brutally eviscerated by the beast of Capitalism that he’s driven to suicide), let’s take a moment and consider something: This is hilarious. If you made a list of actors who could even conceivably be in the same room as someone playing George Bailey, Pete Davidson would be at the absolute bottom of that list. Pete Davidson playing George Bailey could be the premise for a lazy SNL sketch, and Colin Jost should be kicking himself now that this charity event beat him to it, but they’re doing it for real (sort of, it is just a table read and not a remake).
The event will be held on December 13, and you can find more information at the Ed Asner Family Center website.