As both host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live, there is a lot riding on Harry Styles’ performance.
The spotlight will be on Harry Styles this weekend. The singer makes his debut as host of Saturday Night Live and will also serve as the musical guest. Expectations are always high when a performer pulls double-duty but Styles will be facing much more pressure than that.
Styles is the second host to also perform as the musical act this season. Chance the Rapper was a one-man show for Saturday Night Live‘s Halloween episode as the rapper continued his quest towards a legitimate comedy career.
Now it is Styles’ turn. The former One Direction member turned solo artist will put his comedy acting skills to the test on Nov. 16.
Styles may be hosting for the first time but he is not exactly a Saturday Night Live rookie. He has been the musical guest both as part of One Direction and as a solo act. Despite being a musical guest, Styles has found himself on stage in a few sketches and held his own alongside the SNL cast.
But things are much different when you’re the host and are front and center in every sketch. Styles shouldn’t have any problem performing in front of a live audience considering he’s been doing it for close to a decade now.
Saturday Night Live asking one performer to serve as host and musical guest is the closest thing to an “event” episode the show does. It is a testament to the performer’s talents and popularity. Styles will have to prove he’s worthy to join a group that includes Paul Simon, Mick Jagger, and Taylor Swift. If Styles has a forgettable run of sketches, fans will wonder why someone else wasn’t tapped to host and Styles regulated to just musical guest status. That could in turn lead Saturday Night Live to pump the brakes on future “double-duty” episodes.
There are also factors out of Styles’ control that put a little more pressure on him as host this week. First on that list is recapturing the momentum Saturday Night Live had to start season 45.
Woody Harrelson and Phoebe Waller-Bridge set the bar pretty high for hosts in the season’s first two episodes. Things flat-lined a bit with David Harbour (save for a Joker parody), Chance the Rapper, and Kristen Stewart hosting the past three episodes. There was no new episode last week meaning that SNL fans are eager for an episode to talk about and for sketches worth rewatching.
Also working against Styles is what, or who, is coming to Saturday Night Live after him. The Nov. 23 episode will be hosted by Will Ferrell, one of the most popular cast members in the show’s history. It will be Ferrell’s fifth time hosting the show, meaning he will be inducted into the prestigious “Five-Timers Club.”
The last time Ferrell hosted was on Jan. 27, 2018. The episode turned out to be the highest rated show of season 43, beating out others hosted by stars like Gal Gadot, Bill Hader, John Mulaney, and Tina Fey. A so-so performance by Harry Styles will be forgotten even more quickly if Ferrell comes in the next week and blows the roof off Studio 8H. And don’t forget that another SNL legend, Eddie Murphy, is scheduled to host on Dec. 21.
Styles has the right fanbase to give his episode of Saturday Night Live a boost. Fans were lined up early in New York City for the chance to get a ticket to show. Styles also has a strong following on social media and those fans will no doubt help build hype and buzz around Styles on SNL.
If those fans tune in on Saturday night and help the top sketches go viral the following day, then Styles could join Harrelson and Waller-Bridge as early front runners for host of the year.
What do you expect from Harry Styles on Saturday Night Live? Let us know in the comment section and be sure to check in with Last Night On for all the highlights. Saturday Night Live airs Nov. 16 at 11:30 PM ET on NBC.