Back and live from New York! It’s the Saturday Night Live – Season 44 premiere with host Adam Driver!
When you miss SNL being live every weekend, it makes for a really long summer. Add in the fact that the show, along with its cast and writing, being the sharpest they’ve been in generations and it really doesn’t make the hiatus go any faster. Well, the wait is over because tonight, live all across the country at 11:30pm ET on NBC, Saturday Night Live returns to doing live shows with the kickoff of its 44th season.
The season premiere brings back Adam Driver, best known for “Star Wars” on the big screen and “Girls” on premium cable, to host for his second time along with superstar musical guest Kanye West. Driver can currently be seen in theaters in the Spike Lee joint, “BlacKkKlansman.” He was the first host revealed for the new season. The first three hosts and musical guests of SNL‘s new season were announced on Twitter. You can check out that announcement on the Interrobang which includes a first-time host, a returning cast member and a musical guest making his 9th SNL appearance.
In the past two weeks, several new developments regarding the new season of Saturday Night Live were released including the hosting schedule. We also learned that actor, improv & sketch performer and UCB alumnus Ego Nwodim is joining the show as a new featured performer along with four new writers. Plus, Mikey Day, Alex Moffat and Melissa Villaseñor will all be promoted to full repertory players when SNL announcer Darrell Hammond makes the opening credits introductions tonight. It was also announced that Kenan Thompson will star in a new NBC comedy, “Saving Larry,” executive produced by SNL godfather Lorne Michaels, which has a production commitment from the network. However, Thompson’s status with Saturday Night Live is still up in the air depending on if he’ll stay with the variety series if his sitcom goes to series. Tonight begins Kenan Thompson’s 16th season with SNL.
Tonight’s host Adam Driver already has one SNL hosting gig under his belt. He hosted Saturday Night Live back in January, 2016, not long after the release of his blockbuster film “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” where he starred as Darth Vader’s favorite evil grandson Kylo Ren (from the Dark Side of the Skywalker family.) His “Star Wars” role led to one of the funnier SNL – Digital Shorts during SNL – Season 41 where Driver played his Kylo Ren character in a Star Wars version of the reality show “Undercover Boss.”
If you want to put into perspective how long ago it was when Adam Driver first hosted, in the SNL – Cold Open, former cast member Darrell Hammond was still playing Donald Trump in a sketch where the then-candidate Trump was facing off in a GOP debate against other Republican contenders. You remember? Back when America still felt a little bit normal. Also in that episode of Saturday Night Live, Adam Driver also appeared as a live-action Disney’s Aladdin, a Golden Globe winning actor, the host of “America’s Funniest Cats“, a porn star playing a doctor, a motivational speaker handling social puppeteering, and NBC “Football Night in America – Sunday Night Football” host Cris Collinsworth.
As for tonight’s show, where will the newly revamped writing team led by head writers and Weekend Update co-hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost even begin!? A good place to start would be the contentious and often insane Senate confirmation hearings of Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. It will be interesting to see which cast members or cameo guest stars will be selected to play nominee Kavanaugh and his highly emotional and very Southern defender, Senator Lindsey Graham, if SNL goes in that direction.
To give you a taste of how long it’s been since Saturday Night Live, Weekend Update and SNL-Trump Alec Baldwin have tackled anything from the World of Trump on live television, here’s some of the things that SNL missed out on during its hiatus.
President Trump’s summit with North Korean bad guy Kim Jong Un and the two leaders’ love letter exchange, Trump ordering the military “to infinity and beyond” with his demand for a U.S. Space Force, the President and AG Jeff Sessions ordering children of illegal immigrant families be taken from their parents in a move usually reserved for fairy tale villains, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being refused service in a Virginia restaurant, the Helsinki Summit / Love Fest with Russian President Vladimir Putin, White House reality star / spy Omarosa doing a face-turn and releasing secret recordings she made on the job and after she was fired, former NYC Mayor and current presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s insane press tour which included the classic line “truth isn’t truth,” former presidential lawyer Michael Cohen pleading guilty, cooperating with authorities and releasing his own incriminating audio of the President, an “Anonymous” senior White house official writing an opinion piece for the New York Times explaining that there’s a resistance movement inside the Trump administration, Watergate newspaper legend Bob Woodward releasing his book “Fear” documenting the insane and chaotic atmosphere in the White House, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein allegedly trying to organize the President’s cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office and our President being almost laughed out of the UN this past week. Whew. And that was all just during the Saturday Night Live summer hiatus. It would be expected that SNL and Weekend Update may hit on any or all of these news items during tonight’s season premiere.
Saturday Night Live released three promo sets for the SNL – Season 44 premiere starring host Adam Driver which you can watch below. In the first video, SNL gives us a quick look at Driver’s previous appearance on the show. In the next one, Adam Driver’s promo is being hijacked and we find out the secret identity of the SNL saboteur. Then finally in the more traditional set, Adam Driver is joined by cast member Kenan Thompson as they try to figure out what plans musical guest Kanye West is up to for Saturday night.
Saturday Night Live returns live tonight! The SNL – Season 44 premiere is live across all American time zones starting at 11:30pm ET tonight on NBC and stars host Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West.