Robert De Niro showed off his comedy skills on Saturday Night Live at the weekend (04Dec10) by poking fun at his famous tough guy reputation and dressing in drag for a TV skit.
The movie star was promoting new film Little Fockers as guest host of the weekly show and he began his stint by joking he was hoping "this will really kickstart my movie career."
He then asked his burly henchmen to escort an audience member out of the TV studio for questioning his factually-inaccurate take on life in his beloved New York, and he presented another guest with a dead horse's head when he took exception to De Niro's claims he attended city drama school Hogwarts.
The actor also showed up as Afghanistan leader Hamid Karzai in a skit and played thriller author Harlan Kane, promoting his latest suspense novel. De Niro also played himself in comedy sketches, where his famous serious reputation was mocked.
But his biggest laugh came when he played the mother of a hapless rapper, portrayed by SNL regular Andy Samberg, in a skit that also featured the show's musical guest Sean 'Diddy' Combs.
De Niro brought some big name friends with him - Robin Williams appeared in one skit and his Little Fockers co-star Ben Stiller made a cameo in another.