Saturday Night Live has a couple of first-time hosts lined up for their last two episodes of January, and they’re so good that even the grumps over here at Paste felt the need to write about it. (Okay, the grump. I am the only grump at Paste. I wish I wasn’t, I’m not proud of it, but with acceptance comes peace, and whatnot.)
SNL’s next two hosts are Will Forte and Willem Dafoe. Forte, of course, was a long-time SNL cast member, starring on the show from 2002 to 2010, and established himself as one of the weirdest, smartest, and most consistently hilarious cast members in the show’s long run. Since then he’s done some legit acting and starred in the fantastic sitcom The Last Man on Earth, and most recently headlined a Peacock series based on his old SNL character MacGruber. Hopefully Forte will bring the kind of unpredictable absurdity he was known for as a cast member back to the show. Joining him as musical guest will be Måneskin, who apparently won Eurovision, or something. Their episode airs this weekend, on Saturday, Jan. 22.
Dafoe will be stepping in for the following episode on Jan. 29. The four-time Oscar nominee has long been one of the most acclaimed actors of his day, and despite proving his own comic chops multiple times over the years this will be his first time hosting SNL. If the show’s writers aren’t coming up with their creepiest stuff ever for Dafoe to sink his teeth into, then I don’t even know what they’re doing over there. Dafoe was most recently seen reprising his role as Norman “The Green Goblin” Osborn in Spider-Man: No Way Home, so don’t be surprised if there’s some kind of Spidey sketch in his episode. The musical guest on his episode will be massive pop star Katy Perry, who’s probably more famous to people under 40 than Dafoe himself.
Of course it remains deeply questionable for SNL to run new, live episodes in front of a studio audience as the omicron surge continues, especially since they had to semi-cancel an episode in December after an undisclosed number of crew tested positive for Covid. Apparently the latest “guy who just bought a boat” Weekend Update segment is crucial enough to risk infection. Forte and Dafoe will be enough to get us to tune in from the comfort of our own home, though, or at least watch whatever sketches look interesting on YouTube the next day.