Who is Hosting Saturday Night Live Tonight: February 16, 2018

Avengers Assemble! For a brand new tonight hosted by Don Cheadle!

If you tell your kids that Don Cheadle is hosting the new episode of Saturday Night Live tonight at 11:30pm on NBC, they’ll be thrilled and want to stay up late to watch “War Machine” aka James Rhodes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Avengers” and “Iron Man” movies. Grownups hopefully know Don Cheadle for his amazing resume of work in drama and comedy in both films and on television including “Boogie Nights“, “House of Lies” (which won Cheadle a Golden Globe,) the “Oceans” movies, “Captain Planet” (the Funny or Die version) and “Hotel Rwanda” which earned him an Oscar nomination.

Tonight, Don Cheadle will be hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time. He goes down in the record books as the 9th first-time host this season which will only be 13 episodes old after tonight. And while adding “Saturday” Night Live to his IMDB page this evening, Cheadle will also be promoting a project featuring another day of the week, his new Showtime comedy series which premiered in last month, “Black Monday“.

Created for Showtime by Jordan Cahan (My Best Friend’s Girl) and David Caspe (Happy Endings), “Black Monday” gives a very fictional and comical account of the days leading up to Monday, October 19, 1987 when stock markets around the world crashed, causing an over 500 point drop in the Dow, at a time when that size of a plunge made up almost a quarter of the entire Dow Jones Industrial Average. It was a devastating financial time for the country and the entire world. Cahan describes “Black Monday” as “a little mystery, a lot of comedy, an immense amount of cocaine.” Cheadle stars in the comedy as Maurice Monroe who leads a group of anti-establishment outsiders who end up being responsible for the stock market crash of the late 1980s. “Black Monday” co-stars Andrew Rannells, Paul Scheer and Regina Hall. With a such a great cast, SNL may go with their famous Q & A gimmick for Don Cheadle’s monologue tonight with his cast mates sitting in the audience ready to ask the host questions. Another definite possibility is doing the Q & A bit with Cheadle’s co-stars from “Avengers: Endgame” (in theaters April 26th) sitting in the audience and Cheadle taking questions from Robert Downey Jr., (most of the “Hollywood Chrises”) Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt and Chris Evans, and two Saturday Night Live regulars who are also Avengers, Paul Rudd and Scarlett Johansson, who is well-known to SNL fans as First Daughter Ivanka Trump in Saturday Night Live‘s Donald Trump cold opens.

With a filmography as impressive as Don Cheadle’s, there’s plenty for the SNL writers’ room to turn into parody sketches for tonight’s episode. Since Saturday Night Live has no trouble bending genders for impressions, the idea of Leslie Jones dressed as Thanos, the purple-skinned, cosmic arch-enemy of the Avengers is easy to see. An SNL – Digital Short featuring a parody of “Black Monday” could be on tonight’s show, maybe including some of the ups and downs of the financial markets during Trump’s term so far. And we might see Don Cheadle back in his green wig and blue-silver makeup for another appearance as environmental superhero Captain Planet.

Other things going on in the world that may be the inspiration for some SNL comedy tonight would definitely include President Trump’s plan the create a fake emergency in order to take federal money to build his wall, or as he calls it, his “precious.” Perhaps we’ll get an early preview of the 2020 Presidential Election race with SNL cast members debuting impressions of the dozen Democrats running for their party’s nomination next year. Topics of conversation that could be turned into punchlines for Weekend Update include the plan to stop another government shut-down, Ann Coulter’s continued criticism of Trump who she refers to as the “idiot” President, Amazon scrapping plans to build a corporate headquarters in Queens, New York, Mexican drug lord El Chapo being convicted on all counts, the backlash against Cardi B’s major Grammy Award win, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort violating his plea agreement, ostracized quarterback Colin Kaepernick settling his collusion suit with the NFL, the Colorado man who fought off and killed a mountain lion with his bare hands, Katy Perry getting engaged to Orlando Bloom, and Will Smith getting panned for his appearance as the Genie in Disney’s live-action “Aladdin.”

This week as always we have the promos for tonight’s all new Saturday Night Live, which you can watch below, but this week, SNL went in a slightly different direction with its promos. First, we have a quick teaser promo for the return of Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump on this evening’s show. It features Baldwin in the makeup chair transforming into the SNL version of Trump while audio from his previous presidential appearances plays in the background. So, a Trump SNL-Cold Open is a definite tonight. In the next set, host Don Cheadle is joined by musical guest Gary Clark Jr. and cast member Pete Davidson who is getting an update on Groundhog Day as well as lobbying to become the next member of “The Avengers.” For anyone interested, we do see some of Pete’s tattoo work in the promo, but not one of his most recent ink jobs where he had the word “Cursed” tattooed over a tatt that he had gotten with former fiance Ariana Grande. And finally, Saturday Night Live released a promo featuring Don Cheadle reminiscing over his all-time favorite SNL sketches including the groundbreaking “Job Interview” sketch with Chevy Chase and host Richard Pryor, Dan Aykroyd’s bloody “Julia Child” sketch, Eddie Murphy as James Brown hosting a talk show in his hot tub from SNL-Season 9, , host Jerry and Horatio Sanz all breaking character during an SNL-Season 25 sketch and the memorable “Chippendales Audition” sketch featuring host Patrick Swayze versus the great Chris Farley.

Tonight, Don Cheadle hosts a brand new, live from coast-to-coast episode of Saturday Night Live with musical guest Gary Clark Jr. at 11:30pm on NBC. Enjoy this one because it looks like we’re probably going back to SNL repeats next week.

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