Saturday Night Live with host Bill Burr: What to watch for

Bill Burr (Photo by Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images)
Bill Burr (Photo by Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images) /

Comedian Bill Burr hosts the second episode in season 46 of Saturday Night Live

It feels as though the past week provided a month’s worth of material for late-night television. Saturday Night Live should have no problem on that front tonight and should get a nice boost from host Bill Burr.

Burr will be making his Saturday Night Live debut, hosting for the first time. Comedy fans are very familiar with Burr. He’s one of the most successful stand-up comedians working today and hosts the wildly popular Monday Morning Podcast. On top of that, he’s behind the Netflix animated series F is For Family and has appeared in Breaking BadThe Mandalorian, and Chapelle’s Show.

SNL wasn’t without its own drama leading up to tonight’s show. Musical guest Morgan Wallen was seen out partying in Alabama and in clear violation of COVID-19 protocols. As a result, SNL dumped Wallen as the musical act. Instead, Jack White will be tonight’s musical guest. White is about as professional as they come in the music industry and should have no problem taking the stage on short notice.

With that settled, SNL can turn its attention to the drama of the week. President Donald Trump returned to the White House, Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence squared off in the debate, and much more happened that could wind up as sketch inspiration. Here are three things to watch for tonight.

Bill Burr should surprise Saturday Night Live audiences with his sketch performance

Bill Burr will be the first to tell you that he is limited in what he can do as an actor. He’s much more comfortable on stage or on a late-night show as himself. But despite that modesty, Burr has found himself in some of the best television series and films in recent history.

Beyond the titles mentioned above, Burr was praised for his work in The King of Staten Island. Tonight he’ll be reunited with the star of that film, Pete Davidson.

Burr gained valuable experience in sketch comedy through his appearances on Chapelle’s Show. Combine that with what he’s done in his other acting roles, and there is no reason to believe that Burr won’t excel in tonight’s sketches.

Last week’s host Chris Rock wasn’t asked to do too much in the way of sketches. His major contribution came during the monologue. Burr has the chance to make a similar impact with his monologue, which will likely be a routine pulled from his act.

But once the sketches start, let’s hope that Burr gets a chance to do a bit more. With one show under their belts, SNL may have a better idea of how to pull off different sketches while still maintaining the safety protocols in place at 30 Rock.

Maya Rudolph’s return to Saturday Night Live

We know that Maya Rudolph will return tonight as Senator Kamala Harris. She made a brief appearance during the season 46 premiere but she’ll be front and center tonight.

The vice presidential debate wasn’t nearly the spectacle that the first (and probably only) presidential debate was. Still, debates are one of the things that SNL does best. It helps to have the Emmy Award-winning Harris anchoring the sketch, aided by Beck Bennett as Vice President Pence.

Earlier this week, Rudolph was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She discussed how odd it was to be at SNL during the pandemic and the challenges it presented in writing and rehearsing the sketches. She revealed that she didn’t know her lines for the cold open until she was on stage, causing her to drop the Sen. Harris impression.

Again, with one episode already out of the way, Rudolph should be better prepared for tonight’s show. The VP debate is a lock for the cold open and all eyes will be on Rudolph. That is, until a fly lands on Bennett’s head as Vice President Pence. It will be interesting to see how SNL decides to pull off that gag.

Will Melissa Villaseñor make her Saturday Night Live season 46 debut?

All but one cast member appeared in the season 46 premiere. Even Cecily Strong, who is in Vancouver shooting her Apple TV series was able to film a cameo as Kimberly Guilfoyle for the cold open. SNL’s three new cast members, Punkie Johnson, Lauren Holt, and Andrew Dismukes, also made their debuts.

But fans noticed the one absence was Melissa Villaseñor. She has quickly become a fan-favorite so many wondered where she was during the premiere.

Villaseñor’s skill set seems to be perfect for what SNL needs right now. Despite being back in Studio 8H, the show is limited in how many cast members can be in one sketch. Chloe Fineman demonstrated the value of having a performer able to play multiple roles as essentially the only cast member in a scene.

Villaseñor has a number of celebrity impressions that can be utilized in a similar fashion. She also has a talent for music that could find its way into a sketch.

Tonight, look for SNL to give her more opportunities and showcase why she’s one of the most talented performers in the cast. Fans will surely be happy to see her.

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What are your expectations for tonight’s Saturday Night Live? Share your thoughts in the comment section and check back with Last Night On for all the highlights.