Who’s hosting Saturday Night Live tonight, December 16?

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Pictured: "Saturday Night Live" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Pictured: "Saturday Night Live" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal) /

Saturday Night Live is all new tonight as the sketch show delivers its annual holiday episode. So who will SNL fans see take the stage as host?

The holiday episode is always a big deal in Studio 8H as writers and cast members up their game. Things already started last week as host Adam Driver helped get everyone in the holiday spirit.

Tonight, Kate McKinnon gets her turn. The former Saturday Night Live cast member will host tonight for the first time. She’ll be joined by musical guest Billie Eilish.

McKinnon left Saturday Night Live in 2022, ending a decade on the show that made her a comedy star. She walked away from the show as one of the most popular performers in recent memory. Tonight gives audiences another chance to express their appreciation for the comedian.

What to expect from Kate McKinnon as host of Saturday Night Live tonight

It must be a relief for the cast and crew to know that the host will have absolutely zero problems with the show. And while that’s likely the case with every SNL alum that comes back to host, Kate McKinnon is in a class all her own.

By the end of her SNL run, McKinnon appeared in nearly every sketch in a given episode. So she’ll have no issues being the center of attention tonight. The only concern will be whether the writing matches the anticipation for McKinnon’s return. Hopefully, SNL is already over the disastrous cold open from last week that left a sour taste in viewers’ mouths.

It will be interesting to see how reliant the episode is on McKinnon’s past work versus giving her something fresh to work with. Yes, everyone would enjoy seeing her as Rudy Giuliani in the cold open, or Barbara DeDrew at the cat shelter, or Olya Povlatsky on “Weekend Update.” But at the same time, we’ve seen those characters at their best. Doing something new can remind us of McKinnon’s talents just as much as a trip down memory lane.

If Saturday Night Live does want to draw on McKinnon’s past, cameos are the best way to go. We know that Cecily Strong was ready to appear in last week’s cold open before (wisely) backing out. Tonight would be a much better fit, whether in a new idea with McKinnon or reprising her role as Sharon next to McKinnon’s Collen Rafferty.

Aidy Bryant would be another cameo that makes sense. Bryant and McKinnon partnered on countless memorable sketches and carried SNL alongside Strong for years.

Saturday Night Live airs tonight, December 16, at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC. It also streams on Peacock.