5 times former Minnesota Vikings players shined in movies or TV

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Minnesota Vikings /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) Fran Tarkenton – Minnesota Vikings /

Fran Tarkenton

Ed Marinaro may be the most dynamic actor of all the former Minnesota Vikings players, but there is something special about what Fran Tarkenton did with his time in front of a camera as an actor that should make fans excited.

Typically, hosting Saturday Night Live was reserved for mega-stars who were in the field of acting, music, or comedy. That all changed when Tarkenton became the first professional athlete to host an episode of the late night comedy show on January 29, 1977.

The first sketch of the show sets the tone for what is an excellent set. The comedy group is getting a locker room pep talk for the upcoming show, talking about the show as if it were a football game and the cast is wearing jerseys huddled around their coach. Of course, the joke about Fran not being able to win the big one stll stings a bit to this day.

Seeing John Belushi, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtain, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, and others interacting in great comedy sketches with a Minnesota Vikings legends is reason enough to track down this amazing episode of Saturday Night Live…and it’s an absolute touchdown for Tarkenton.

Notable roles:

  • M*A*S*H (1970) – Football Player – 325th Evac.
  • Saturday Night Live (1977) – self
  • Hill Street Blues (1981) – Sportscaster
  • 1st & Ten (1984-1985) – Play-by-play Announcer

Shining role: Saturday Night Live

Which performances from Minnesota Vikings players in television or film were your favorites? And are there any other former purple and gold athletes who had appearances as actors that you really loved? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.