Luther and The Dark Tower star Idris Elba is set to make his first ever appearance as host of NBC’s Saturday Night Live next month. Elba is also going to Netflix, as he heads up the cast of the streamer’s new comedy series Turn Up Charlie. The show sees Elba playing a DJ who becomes a reluctant manny to his famous best friend’s daughter.
In the years since its debut in 1975, Saturday Night Live has become a television institution, and hosting the show has become something of a rite of passage for actors and comedians (with the occasional sports star mixed in). Already in 2019, SNL has welcomed in first-time host Don Cheadle, who of course is MCU teammates with Idris Elba thanks to his War Machine character. Another actor with experience in superhero movies, James McAvoy, also made his hosting debut in 2019. And last year Aquaman himself Jason Momoa made the leap from the DCEU to the even more treacherous waters of live late night television.
Having climbed to the top of the mountain in both the realms of movies and series TV, Idris Elba will now also tackle the challenge of hosting Saturday Night Live (via TVLine). Elba makes his debut on SNL on March 9 with musical guest Khalid. It was previously reported that John Mulaney will serve as host on March 2 with musical guest Thomas Rhett.
Nowadays Elba is one of the biggest stars around, but once upon a time he was was known only in the UK thanks to his roles on numerous series. Everything changed for Elba when he crossed over to America as Stringer Bell in the classic HBO series The Wire. In 2010, Elba began his long run playing a brilliant but troubled detective on the series Luther. When it comes to big ticket Hollywood movies, Elba has played Heimdall in the MCU, Janek in Prometheus, Krall in Star Trek Beyond and Roland in the dud 2017 film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. And of course speculation continues that one day Elba could become James Bond.
After a long career as a performer in media, there’s no question Elba has the acting chops to pull off just about anything that’s put in front of him. Of course, hosting Saturday Night Live is a much different gig than anything else Elba has ever taken on before. By and large though, actors at Elba’s level do well when they tackle SNL hosting duties. The show gives performers like Elba a chance to show a different side of themselves than audiences have seen before, and the results usually are very entertaining.