The legendary sketch show announced the lineup for its season 46 premiere on Thursday. Comedian and former SNL cast member Chris Rock will take up hosting duties for the third time, while "WAP" rapper Megan Thee Stallion will take the stage for her first headlining performance as musical guest -- after guesting with Chance the Rapper back in 2019.
The episode will be SNL's first time back in Rockefeller Center's legendary Studio 8H since the March 7 episode, which was hosted by Daniel Craig with musical guest The Weeknd. John Krasinski was set to make his hosting debut on March 28 with Dua Lipa performing, but the episode was scrapped when production was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Several subsequent season 45 episodes were compiled from sketches the cast members wrote and filmed at home.
SNL creator and EP Lorne Michaels recently spoke with Vultureabout how the show is working closely with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office to ensure they can carry out the new season safely -- and hopefully with some in-studio audience members to bolster the comedic atmosphere.
"There’s the sheer physical challenge of what we can do within protocols. We’ve been getting support from the governor’s office, which is important because the audience is a huge part of it," Michaels said. "Also, us coming back and accomplishing the show will lead to -- I hate to use the word normalcy -- but it’s a thing that is part of our lives coming back, in whatever form it ends up coming back."
This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.
If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.
Pete Davidson on His Future at 'Saturday Night Live' (Exclusive)
The cast will also look a bit different this season. In addition to Ego Nwodim's promotion to main cast member and the hiring of three new featured cast members -- Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson and Andrew Dismukes -- Jim Carrey will be joining the show to play presidential candidate Joe Biden in the shows leading up to the general election in November.
"There was some interest on his part. And then we responded, obviously, positively," Michaels noted of the casting choice. "But it came down to discussions about what the take was. He and Colin Jost had a bunch of talks. He and I as well. He will give the part energy and strength... Hopefully it’s funny."
Ahead of the 2020 election, SNL's other political players will be out in full force, with Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris, Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Beck Bennett as Mike Pence.
"I honestly don’t think of them as celebrity cameos. I think that’s the sort of New York Times approach to thinking about things," Michaels said of the guest actors. "Alec Baldwin’s probably done the show 25 or 30 times. He’s just part of an extended group... It’s the same way with Maya -- you saw what she brought to it. So, I don’t think of it that way."
"You’re talking about candidates who are in their 70s. When you put someone 28 in that makeup, it's just different," he added. "Part of it also is whoever does it has to basically relocate to New York because of quarantine. So, there were a lot of factors involved in that. But I’m thrilled Jim’s doing it."
Saturday Night Live returns at 8:30 p.m. PT/11:35 p.m. ET on Oct. 3 on NBC. See more on the upcoming season in the video below.