SNL has spent most of its offseason shedding cast members, including Mulaney star Nasim Pedrad and the show’s answer to Ann Veal, Brooks “Him?” Wheelan, but earlier this week, Lorne Michaels hired a new writer, UCB star Alison Rich, who’s also worked for Billy on the Street. So it seems like everything’s in place for the season premiere on September 27th, except for one thing: who’s hosting?
Since 2010, the premiere honor has gone to Amy Poehler, Alec Baldwin, Seth MacFarlane, and Tina Fey, who was there to promote, well, nothing really. Typically, hosts are picked based on whether they have a new show or movie they’d like to awkwardly mention during their monologue, but that’s not always the case, especially in the premiere. Sometimes it’s someone who had a big summer (like MacFarlane — Ted came out three months prior), other times it’s a big name who Lorne knows he can book. The person who I think will get the first post-Don Pardo “and your host…” intro fits both criteria.
He’s on an NBC show, he’s a huge star thanks to roles in The Lego Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy, and his wife has already hosted, so she can tell him where to find the bathroom key so he doesn’t have to bother anyone. It has to be Chris Pratt. Reese Witherspoon, Denzel Washington, and Ben Affleck have movies coming out in late September and early October, but the only one who I think has a decent shot is the Gone Girl star. What’s working against him (and Reese and Amy) is that SNL very rarely has a repeat premiere host — in fact, it hasn’t happened since Tom Hanks in 1988 and 1996. So, sorry Michael Phelps, who hosted in 2008, your phone’s not gonna be ringing any time soon. As for the musical guest, I’m thinking either Iggy Azalea (nope) or Groot ft. Dave Bautista (yes please).