Saturday Night Live with John Krasinski: What to watch for

John Krasinski (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI)
John Krasinski (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI) /

The long wait is finally over. Saturday Night Live season 46 returns this week with host John Krasinski and musical guest Machine Gun Kelly.

It will be Krasinski’s first time hosting despite bursting onto the scene with The Office way back in 2005. The Jack Ryan star and Quiet Place Part II director was originally supposed to host last season but his was the first episode canceled due to the pandemic. Now it will be up to him to restart SNL after the show’s extended break.

SNL’s hiatus began after the Dec. 19 show hosted by Kristen Wiig. A layoff of this long is nothing new. The show always takes just over a month off around Christmas. It just may seem like it has been forever because so much has happened since then, leaving fans eager to see SNL’s take on it.

That hunger for a new episode could mean that SNL is in for a bump in the ratings as fans tune in for the first episode in the President Joe Biden era. Will SNL and John Krasinksi be ready?

Saturday Night Live may be dealing with some rust this week

Even with one of the more seasoned casts in recent memory, Saturday Night Live does run a high risk of being rusty this week. With the exception of last year and host Adam Driver, recent episodes right after the holiday hiatus haven’t been among the season’s strongest. Whether or not that is coincidence is debatable but it could reflect some post-vacation rust.

The first thing to look for is who is back at SNL and who is still out doing other projects. Cecily Strong and Aidy Bryant had limited appearances due to other commitments in the first half of the season. And Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd have also missed time due to filming Thompson’s upcoming sitcom. If everyone is back, keep an eye out on how they perform after so much time away.

More: The best of Saturday Night Live season 46 (so far)

Season 46 comes with a unique set of challenges that could make a month-long break seem even harder to come back from. In past years, cast members could spend the break performing stand up or with comedy groups to keep busy and stay in front of an audience. But travel restrictions and quarantine protocols probably made that a little more difficult this year.

Then there is the new normal of producing a show that the cast and crew are still adjusting to this season. Don’t be surprised if things aren’t razor-sharp especially in the early going.

Is it time for another parody of The Office from Saturday Night Live?

It’s hard to believe that John Krasinski never hosted Saturday Night Live during the eight years The Office was running on NBC. His co-stars Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, and Ed Helms all took the stage at Studio 8H but not Krasinski.

There shouldn’t be any concerns about how Krasinski will do in the spotlight. Anyone familiar with his performances either in character or in interviews knows that he has the charm and sense of humor to succeed.

So will SNL make a callback to the show that made Krasinski a star? It has had a hard time steering clear of The Office in the past. The fan-favorite sitcom has been parodied and referenced a number of times.

We could be in for SNL’s idea of life at Dunder-Mifflin during the pandemic or how Jim, Pam, and Dwight would handle working from home. NBC certainly wouldn’t mind an Office sketch this week. The more people get nostalgic for the show, the more likely they are to sign up for Peacock.

Joe Biden will get his first dose of Saturday Night Live as president

All eyes will be on the cold open when Saturday Night Live goes on the air Saturday. The decision for the show is how far back do they want to reach for a story worth turning into a sketch.

President Joe Biden’s inauguration stands out as the most likely contender. It would let Alex Moffat get his version of President Biden front and center, reminding everyone that Jim Carrey has retired from the role. It also presents an opportunity for Larry David to cameo as a mittens-wearing Senator Bernie Sanders.

Another possibility is a sketch set in the Oval Office imagining President Biden settling in. It would be a good setup for Maya Rudolph to return as Vice President Kamala Harris. Maybe we’d even get a phone call from Alec Baldwin as former President Trump?

Machine Gun Kelly is also making his Saturday Night Live debut

Musical guest Machine Gun Kelly will be making his first SNL debut this week as well. The rapper changed things up with his latest release, Tickets to My Downfall, by going for more of a pop-punk sound.

His performances should definitely be high energy and get a lot of attention from his fans. But keep an eye out for MGK making an appearance in at least one sketch.

The rapper/singer/actor, really name Colson Baker, is good friends with SNL cast member Pete Davidson. Baker had a role in Davidson’s 2020 film The King of Staten Island. Davidson appears on Tickets to My Downfall and played Baker in a sketch earlier this season.

There is a very good chance that SNL will find a way to put MGK and Davidson together in a sketch. The most likely option is another music video from Davidson. They have become some of his best work and having a friend and talented artist like Machine Gun Kelly alongside him makes it a no-brainer.

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What are your predictions for this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to check back with Last Night On for a full recap of the best sketches.