Tonight, Adam Driver returns to SNL to host the Saturday Night Live mid-season premiere!
For the third time in his career, the two time Oscar nominee and “Star Wars” leading man will be in the “Driver” seat (heh-heh) as Saturday Night Live host. In just 4 years, Adam Driver has been invited to host SNL 3 times. And he always seems to be called in for special Saturday Night Live occasions.
His first hosting gig was in January, 2016 during SNL – Season 41 which was another year when he hosted the mid-season premiere and Driver hosted again in 2018 when he kicked off SNL – Season 44 by hosting the September season premiere. So when it comes to premieres, Saturday Night Live EP and creator Lorne Michaels knows exactly who to go to in order to get a late night pop.
Your host for tonight has two major projects he’ll be promoting tonight. Of course, there’s “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” where Adam Driver returns as the Dark Side Supreme Leader Kylo Ren and which really needs no promotion. And then, there’s “Marriage Story” which is currently available for streaming on Netflix.
“Marriage Story” has brought Adam Driver his second Academy Award nomination and hosting SNL is always part of a smart Oscars campaign. A fun and funny performance as host of Saturday Night Live can endear an actor to the Academy. Driver’s first Oscar nomination was for last year’s Spike Lee joint “BlacKkKlansman.” It’s not every actor who’s earning Academy Award nominations on an annual basis.
In his “Marriage Story” role, nominated for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role”, Adam Driver plays Charlie Barber, a young NYC theater director and producer, who is caught up in a troubled marriage and dealing with his aspiring career and crumbling marriage at the same time.
Adam Driver’s Oscar nominated film definitely lends itself to the Saturday Night Live parody treatment which we may see tonight on the SNL mid-season premiere. As does the latest “Star Wars” film.
In his previous SNL appearances, Adam Driver is probably best known for a parody of his “Star Wars” character Kylo Ren in the SNL – Digital Short, “Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base” which mashed up Driver’s role as “Star Wars” Dark Side Master of the Knights of Ren villain with the CBS reality show “Undercover Boss.” The evil space enforcer was put in a lame disguise and discovered how his Storm Troopers and other employees of the evil First Order felt about their boss while not realizing they were talking behind his back, right to his face. SNL may try this premise again by inserting Kylo Ren into another current reality show.
Other notable sketches and characters on Adam Driver’s SNL resume include the beyond elderly oil baron Abraham H. Parnassus who has been in the oil business for 82 years and appears to be from a bygone era except that he has a very late-in-life teenage son named Mordecai played by cast member Pete Davidson. The sketch was the breakout work from then-freshman writer Eli Coyote Mandel and it immediately put him on the SNL map.
Plus, special congratulations went to the Saturday Night Live makeup department for pulling off this early last century ancient oil baron look for Adam Driver without only minutes between sketches.
Abraham H. Parnassus was such a great and popular sketch character, combined with a brilliantly hilarious performance by Adam Driver, it was named one of the best Saturday Night Live sketches from SNL – Season 44 by Vulture. It’s hard to believe SNL wouldn’t reprise the part tonight. “Crrrush your enemies!” It would also give Pete Davidson a chance to redeem himself for breaking up during the sketch the last time.
Driver’s other previous SNL characters that may be revisited tonight include the host of “America’s Funniest Cats” Finn Raynal-Beads, the “Porn Doctor” Dr. Rockhard plus Adam Driver’s impression of “Football Night in America” color commentator Cris Collinsworth which might be perfect to bring back to SNL with Super Bowl LIV coming up in a couple of weeks.
As for what’s going on in the world that could also be part of tonight’s brand new SNL, they’ll definitely be talking impeachment with the Trial of Donald John Trump going on in the U.S. Senate.
Even if Alec Baldwin isn’t back tonight to play the defendant, the 45th President of the United States, it’s still an ideal time to break out cast member Beck Bennett’s hysterically jowly impression of Senate Majority Leader Midnight Moscow Mitch McConnell. Despite which comedic route the SNL writers will take, impeachment is sure to be the premise of tonight’s SNL – Cold Open.
Other big ticket news items that could be part of the comedy material for this evening’s Saturday Night Live mid-season premiere include the Artist formerly known as Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, with the former Duke & Duchess of Sussex ditching the royal family to make it on their own in Canada.
Since this sounds like a sitcom premise along the lines of “Green Acres” or “Bless This Mess“, this story could be turned into a sketch where Harry and Meghan are in a reality show documenting how they get jobs and try to live in the real world using cast members Mikey Day and Alex Moffat’s impersonations of (no longer) Prince Harry and Prince William respectively and Kate McKinnon’s spot-on impression of Queen Elizabeth II.
There’s plenty of other things going on that could be turned into sketches, shorts or most obviously, Weekend Update punchlines tonight. Those include the previously mentioned Oscar nominations, the San Francisco 49ers versus the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, Hillary Clinton claiming that nobody likes Bernie Sanders, the Brad Pitt – Jennifer Aniston reconciliation and social media shipping going on, the Houston Astros being punished by MLB for cheating, El Chapo brand beer, Tim Tebow’s wedding and subsequent wedding night, Robert Downey Jr.’s “Dolittle” box office bomb, and Donald Trump once calling his own impeachment lawyer Ken Starr “a lunatic.” Apparently you need a crazy person when taking on the U.S. Constitution.
SNL is back live and that means that the Saturday Night Live promos for tonight’s new episode are back too. We have them below for you to watch. The first promo is highlights of Adam Driver’s previous two times hosting Saturday Night Live. The reel includes Abraham H. Parnassus, Kylo Ren’s “Undercover Boss” (it’s always good to see a Bobby Moynihan clip), his monologues and the Domenico’s Coffee couple.
In the second promo for this week’s new SNL, host Adam Driver arrives for work and he’s ready to go, even if Studio 8-H isn’t. There’s still some cleaning up that needs to be done from the Saturday Night Live holiday party. If you haven’t taken your Christmas tree down yet, don’t worry. Neither has SNL. “That’s where that goes.”
The third and final promo brings Adam Driver, musical guest Halsey and cast member Kenan Thompson together for a “wild” discussion about tonight’s show. Maybe more wild than Adam was hoping for. We also learn that good things come in threes as long as you don’t push it.
Don’t be surprised either to see Halsey show up in an SNL sketch tonight. She’s someone who has pulled SNL double-duty in the past, serving as both host and musical guest on the same night. Lorne Michaels and the writers love her, so they may work her into the show at some point tonight.
Adam Driver is back on SNL for the third time and he’s hosting tonight’s Saturday Night Live mid-season premiere with musical guest Halsey at 11:30pm et and live across all time zones on NBC!