Saturday Night Live: Halsey will join a special group of performers

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 08: Halsey performs on the runway during the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on November 08, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 08: Halsey performs on the runway during the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on November 08, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) /

Halsey comes to Saturday Night Live this week and in the process will become part of a rare collection of performers.

After a one week hiatus Saturday Night Live returns with an all-new episode this week. When it does, it will put singer Halsey into a special class in the 44 year history of the late night sketch show.

Halsey has been active in the music industry since at least 2014. She has experienced a quick rise to the top thanks to her unique style and voice, dedicated fan base, and incredible talent. If you’ve listened to pop radio at all recently then you’ve no doubt heard her number one single Without Me.

That success and popularity means it’s not surprising that the singer got an invitation to Studio 8H. What probably did surprise some people was the news that Halsey will be the host and musical guest on the Feb. 9 episode. She certainly wasn’t on Last Night On’s radar when predicting hosts for 2019.

Pulling double duty at Saturday Night Live will put Halsey’s name on an impressive list of performers. The 2-for-1 act has been around since SNL started in 1976 but that doesn’t mean it’s still not a special talent that gets the honor. The list includes:

  • Paul Simon (1976)
  • Olivia Newton-John (1982)
  • Britney Spears (2000, 2002)
  • Justin Timberlake (2003, 2006, 2013)
  • Lady Gaga (2013)
  • Ariana Grande (2016)
  • Donald Glover (2018)

There is a lot of star-power on that list. And a lot of awards. And most important to us here, a lot of good Saturday Night Live episodes. Halsey will look to continue on that tradition this week. Here’s our preview for the show.

Halsey the actress

Some of the other names on that list of hosts/performers were selected because they had acting experience. Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, and Donald Glover have all proven that they are capable actors both on television and in films.

Halsey doesn’t quite have the same resume when it comes to acting. But that hasn’t stopped similar Saturday Night Live hosts from being successful on the show. Obviously a singer of her caliber isn’t shy in front of a live audience. And if you’ve seen her music videos they you have even more proof of her comfort on camera.

Interviews with Halsey and her Twitter account prove she has her own sense of humor and should feel at home on Saturday Night Live. Expert the singer to be a natural in sketches once she gets over any initial nerves.

The state of Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live came back from a holiday hiatus with back-to-back solid episodes. Hosts Rachel Brosnahan and James McAvoy each did a fantastic job as first timers on SNL.

Part of what made those episode so great was the variety in material. It has been made very clear how the show approaches politics and the presidency of Donald Trump. Leaning too heavily on ripping Trump alienated some viewers and left the show a little stale at times.

However, in 2019 the show has struck a good balance. The cold opens and “Weekend Update” segments still tackle the biggest political headlines of the week. But the rest of the show has been filled with popular characters, bizarre premises, and other bits designed to show off the talented cast and creative writers.

Keep this in mind on Feb. 9. It may be too tempting for Saturday Night Live not to get back into some of its old habits. The State of the Union made for a lot of great material in late night so SNL will surely want to have take its shot too.

The return of Pete Davidson

No, Pete Davidson didn’t go away or leave Saturday Night Live. This is more about his return to the spotlight outside of the show.

Coming into season 44, Davidson’s engagement to singer Ariana Grande was one of the biggest stories in pop culture. Saturday Night Live responded by putting Davidson in more sketches than usual, hoping to capitalize on his new level of fame.

The end of his engagement with Grande was also addressed on the show. Later when Davidson had some mental health issues, he was brought out to introduce the musical guest as a way of assuring the audience he was okay.

Davidson made his return to the gossip and celebrity blog circuit again earlier this week. He was spotted out with actress Kate Beckinsale, setting off another round of rumors and assumptions about his dating life.

It’s hard to think of another Saturday Night Live cast member who has had his or her personal life get so much attention while on the show. With this latest buzz around Davidson it will be interesting to see how the show responds.

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Saturday Night Live with host and musical guest Halsey will air Feb. 9 on NBC at 11:30 PM ET. Following along with other fans on Twitter before and during the broadcast. Then be sure to check back in with Last Night On for a rundown of all the highlights.