Ryan Gosling is set to host SNL's season 43 premiere. This will mark Gosling's second time hosting SNL, with his first taking place in 2015. The announcement was made during tonight's broadcast of SNL's summer spinoff Weekend Update, a weekly half-hour version of the sketch comedy institution's usual news satire segment. Gosling's SNL appearance -- which airs on September 30 -- will be perfectly timed to promote the blockbuster sequel Blade Runner 2049, which hits theaters on October 6.
SNL's season 42 saw the veteran program earn some of the highest ratings it's drawn in recent memory, primarily on the back of political material spawned by first the 2016 presidential campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and the first few months of Trump's resulting presidency. Whatever side of the political aisle one falls on, it's hard to argue that Trump's presidency hasn't been a roller coaster on many levels, and SNL has mined those events for all of the comedic value they could possibly muster.
Joining Gosling on the season 43 premiere will be musical guest Jay-Z, according to Variety. This will mark the chart-topping rapper and all-around music industry mogul's fourth SNL performance. One wonders whether one of the biggest stars to emerge from season 42 will also show up on the season 43 premiere, that being President Donald Trump (as played by Alec Baldwin, much to the POTUS' publicly expressed chagrin).
If Baldwin's Trump pops up on the season premiere, it actually won't be the character's first appearance since season 42 ended, as he already surprised fans by making a guest appearance during Weekend Update earlier tonight. The sketch Baldwin's Trump appeared in was a send-up of his widely covered rally in Phoenix this past Tuesday night, and featured jokes about the heavily shared clips of Trump looking directly at Monday's solar eclipse.
Also lampooned during the sketch was Trump's high-profile ousting of former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon, who was once again played in skeletal Grim Reaper form by SNL cast member Mikey Day. While Trump and his supporters will likely continue to be displeased by SNL's ongoing skewering of the president, it's certainly working for the show from an acclaim standpoint, with season 42 receiving a whopping 22 Emmy nominations. Starting off with an A-list pair like Ryan Gosling and Jay-Z, season 43 looks to only up SNL's ante as 2017 rolls on.
Saturday Night Live season 43 premieres September 30 on NBC.