After a decade, Steve Carell returns to SNL to host tonight’s Thanksgiving episode of Saturday Night Live!
When Steve Carell hosts Saturday Night Live for the third time, tonight at 11:30pm on NBC, you’ll notice he’s a little more grey and a little bit more mature looking than the last time he hosted. That could be due to it being 10 years since he hosted last or from all the serious film work he’s been doing. Tonight, it will be the common case of comedian-turned-dramatic-actor-turned-back-to-comedian-for-one-night. Carell first hosted the show in October, 2005, the same year his break-through comedy “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” was released, then he hosted again in May, 2008 when he was in the middle of the successful 9 season run of NBC’s American version of “The Office,” which won Carell a Golden Globe and earned him several Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his starring role as Michael Scott, regional manager of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Scranton Branch.
It’s actually hard to figure out which project Steve Carell is best known for. We mentioned his first starring role in a comedy film (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin“) and his hit TV series (“The Office,”) but Steve Carell was established on the comedy map long before those two successes. He was already a scene-stealer in the Will Ferrell smash comedy, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” as the psychotically dim-witted weatherman Brick Tamland and in Jim Carrey’s family comedy film, “Bruce Almighty” as conniving news anchor Evan Baxter. Carell would go one to star in the sequel, “Evan Almighty.” Plus, he was well-known for his work as a comedy correspondent and part of “the best fucking news team ever” on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Since then, if you ask your kids, they would know Steve Carell as the voice of the reformed super-villain Gru in the “Despicable Me” cartoon movie series.
In the past decade, Steve Carell has peppered his career with some more comedies, (“Date Night” with Tina Fey, “Dinner for Schmucks” with Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis, and “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” with Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey and Jay Mohr,) but his main focus has been on becoming a dramatic actor and a respected one at that. His more serious work includes “Little Miss Sunshine“, “Last Flag Flying“, and “Foxcatcher” which earned Steve Carell an Academy Award nomination for playing the paranoid, eccentric, multi-millionaire murderer John du Pont. And tonight, when Carell hosts SNL, he’ll be promoting his latest dramatic film which already has Oscar buzz, “Beautiful Boy” co-starring Timothée Chalamet. It’s based on the true story of the Sheff family which was nearly torn apart while dealing with addiction, relapse and recovery. “Beautiful Boy” opened in theaters in the U.S. last month and is still showing nationwide.
Here’s a piece of Steve Carell / SNL trivia that you may or may not be aware of going into tonight’s new live show. While this is Carell’s third time hosting Saturday Night Live, he’s appeared on SNL several times in the past. Steve Carell along with his then-“Daily Show” co-correspondent Stephen Colbert provided the voices for “The Ambiguously Gay Duo,” the “maybe gay – maybe not” superhero team of Ace & Gary. It was one of the animated sketches that aired as part of SNL‘s “Saturday TV Funhouse” which featured cartoons created by legendary Saturday Night Live writer Robert Smigel. “The Ambiguously Gay Duo” first debuted on “The Dana Carvey Show” which Carell, Colbert and Smigel were all a part of during its single season run in 1996 on ABC.
Steve Carell also had plenty of memorable sketches from his first two hosting gigs on SNL. His previous Saturday Night Live work includes a hilariously gory sketch about CPR going wrong during a demonstration featuring Andy Samberg, also a sketch featuring Carell and Fred Armisen as the Lundford Twins who hosted their own variety show in the style of the Smothers Brothers and Carell also went toe-to-toe with Rachel Dratch’s “Debbie Downer” when he played “Bob Bummer” opposite her. Plus, Steve Carell starred in an SNL- Digital Short titled “The Japanese Office” which was a look at an early Asian version of “The Office“. The short was introduced by “Office” creator Ricky Gervais. Plus during his 2008 hosting appearance, Steve Carell was given the privilege of getting to say “Live from New York! It’s Saturday Night!” when he starred in the SNL – Cold Open where he played the principal of The Pounder School where students transferred there because of the bullying they had been withstanding at other schools because of their unfortunate names. Carell’s character had the duty of announcing the student’s names at a commencement ceremony including graduates “Chlamydia Marie Carrier”, “Albee Dunn Quick” and “Orel Canby Goode.”
Steve Carell also has a personal connection to Saturday Night Live. He’s married to Nancy Walls who was an SNL cast member during SNL – Season 21 (1995 – 1996) along with people like Jim Breuer, Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, David Koechner, Norm Macdonald, Molly Shannon, Mark McKinney, Cheri Oteri and new featured cast member Colin Quinn.
This week’s sketch and Weekend Update material is sure to be inspired by the continued mid-term election fallout including voting results still being contested in Florida, Arizona, Georgia and Mississippi. Alec Baldwin has yet to appear as President Trump since the actor’s latest legal woes. This may be a week to bring him back with chaos looming in the White House once again with the First Lady having people fired, CNN suing the Trump administration communications department for banning White House reporter Jim Acosta, and Robert Mueller reportedly getting revved back up and ready to start handing out indictments again. Also Monica Lewinsky being back in the news with the new A&E limited series “The Clinton Affair” premiering this weekend, the male students at Baraboo High School in Wisconsin brilliantly deciding to give a Nazi salute in a group photo and Stan Lee passing away, are all stories that could find their way onto SNL tonight. A funeral sketch featuring Marvel superhero mourners could be a nice send off for the greatest comic book creator of all time.
Looking at the promos which you can watch below, for tonight’s new SNL starring Steve Carell, the first is a tweeted message from the host letting us know how good he thinks this episode of Saturday Night Live is going to be. Next, we get to see Steve Carell sit down with cast members Aidy Bryant and Chris Redd as he prepares to be funny again with the help of the book, “Re-Learning Comedy for Dramatic Actors.” Finally, Steve Carell is joined by musical guest Ella Mai and cast member Kenan Thompson who’s not thrilled with Steve using to the promo time to try out some new stand up.
Since this is the SNL Thanksgiving show, expect the show to start winding down for 2018 and have some repeats for the next couple of weeks before the cast and writers put together some final shows before calling it a year and have their mid-season break.
Tonight however, is all new and live from coast-to-coast with Steve Carell returning to host for his third time with musical guest Ella Mai at 11:30pm on NBC.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) November 14, 2018