Here’s what to watch for when Saturday Night Live at Home returns to television this week.
Good news, fans: Saturday Night Live is back this week. The NBC sketch comedy show returns to the air with another edition of Saturday Night Live at home.
SNL took a week off after making history with the completely remote episode on April 11. Everything from host Tom Hanks’ monologue to performances by musical guest Chris Martin to the sketches were prerecorded at the stars’ home.
Saturday Night Live at Home wasn’t memorable for its content but deserved applause and gratitude from fans. It provided an escape, a distraction, and a small slice of what normal life used to be like. It also was entertaining enough to warrant another edition this week.
And that’s just what audiences are getting this Saturday. The show will be back with brand new sketches at its normal 11:30 PM ET timeslot on NBC. Here’s a preview of what to watch for:
Who will host?
The first Saturday Night Live at Home surprise fans when it kicked off with host Tom Hanks. A host wasn’t announced nor was one expected given the nature of the remote episode. But from his home, Hanks delivered a monologue that was equal parts entertaining and inspirational.
So now a precedent has been set and fans will anticipate a host this week. And once again, SNL has not made an announcement on who that host will be. That leaves the door open for some speculation and wishful thinking.
SNL will likely once again turn to a familiar face who can be counted on to deliver a monologue and put together a small bit on his or her own. The first name that came to mind is Steve Martin. He has hosted 15 times before and if you follow him on social media, then you know he is staying busy while quarantining:
Another candidate is Tina Fey. Whether for Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, or award shows, Fey has proven to be one of the absolute best joke writers in comedy. She no doubt would have a lot to say about New York City and life at home. A stand-up comedian would also be a good idea, considering the host isn’t needed to perform in any sketches. If SNL goes this route, the show could turn to Jerry Seinfeld or Chris Rock.
The return of Cecily, Melissa, and Bowen (hopefully)
Fans who watched the first Saturday Night Live at Home noticed that cast members Cecily Strong, Melissa Villasenor, and Bowen Yang did not make any appearances. Hopefully, all three get a chance to return this week.
It is not uncommon for a cast member to be left out of a particular episode. The odds are even higher considering the limitations on these remote episodes. Still, as one of the best performers on the cast, Cecily Strong’s absence was especially noticeable.
It is possible that Strong was unavailable during the week of filming. She also revealed she was going through personal issues that may have limited her ability to participate. Maybe it is coincidence but the promo for this week prominently features Strong in the opening moments. It could be a sign of things to come on the show.
Melissa Villasenor was another cast member fans were disappointed not to see. She has been posting clips to her Twitter and Instagram accounts that would fit perfectly on Saturday Night Live at Home. There is a good chance that things are different this time around and Villasenor gets an opportunity to shine. The same can be said of Bowen Yang who has already created some memorable characters in his first season as a cast member.
Going into the first at-home show, “Weekend Update” was expected to play a big role. It is the easiest recurring segment to reproduce from home with anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che.
It was also the only portion of the show to feature audience laughter. According to Jost, it felt awkward to deliver punchlines with no reaction. But for the audience at home, it was a little distraction and at times drowned out the next lines from Che and Jost. A week of reflection could result in some minor changes to how “Weekend Update” is presented.
The success of “Weekend Update” is based just as much on the characters as the jokes from the anchors. Last time out, Alec Baldwin reprised his role as President Trump for a phone interview. Here’s hoping that this time, SNL has figured out a way to interview a character in real time. You can see Last Night On’s picks for five characters best suite for a remote episode right here.
What are your predictions for Saturday Night Live at Home? Who do you want to see host the show? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to check back with Last Night On for all the highlights.