The long wait is finally over. Saturday Night Live returns from its winter hiatus tonight with a brand new episode. So who is set to take the stage as host?
Season 47 hit the unofficial halfway point back on December 18. Host Paul Rudd had to improvise when COVID restrictions forced SNL to send just about everyone home. The Christmas episode turned into a clip show, featuring pretaped sketches and holiday classics.
Thankfully, things look a little better for this week’s host. West Side Story star Ariana DeBose makes her Saturday Night Live debut as host. She’ll be joined by musical guest Bleachers.
DeBose becomes the ninth first-time host of season 47. Only Paul Rudd had SNL hosting experience.
Meanwhile, Bleachers was not originally on SNL’s schedule. Rapper Roddy Ricch originally had the gig, but a positive COVID test for a member of his team forced Ricch to back out of tonight’s show.
Can Ariana DeBose keep up on Saturday Night Live?
Ariana DeBose follows in the footsteps of other first-time hosts from this season such as Owen Wilson, Kim Kardashian West, and Simu Liu. But what DeBose lacks in SNL experience, she more than makes up for with stage experience.
DeBose was a member of the original Hamilton cast on Broadway. She earned a Tony nomination for her role as Donna Summer in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. So clearly, DeBose shouldn’t be shy about performing in front of a live audience.
When it comes to comedy, DeBose isn’t a rookie. She played the part of Alyssa Greene in the musical comedy The Prom for Netflix. DeBose also starred alongside Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key in the Apple TV+ series Schmigadoon!. Don’t be surprised to see DeBose and Strong partner on a musical sketch tonight.
Saturday Night Live airs tonight at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC. The show also streams live on Peacock.
What are your expectations for Ariana DeBose as host of Saturday Night Live? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.