This season Saturday Night Live faces the challenge of keeping the late-night sketch comedy series alive without SNL Digital Short master Andy Samberg, the plethora of characters from Kristen Wiig, the legacy cast member Abby Elliot, and maybe even Mitt Romney regular Jason Sudeikis, who is still mulling over his potential departure from the series. However, it helps that the 38th season will start with some great hosts.
NBC has just announced Family Guy creator and Ted star/director Seth MacFarlane will host the season premiere on September 15th, with musical guest Frank Ocean. Both host and musical guest are making their debut on SNL, though the former has had a large presence in television through his animated series Family Guy, The Cleveland Show and American Dad. Considering MacFarlane's strong presence as a writer on his own projects, I'm anxious to see what he offers the sketch comedy series - especially knowing the wide variety of impersonations he can deliver.
In addition, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been slated to return as host for a second time on September 22nd, just in time to promote the release of his time-travel action thriller Looper on September 28th. He'll also be joined by Mumford & Sons (check out their fantastic new single right here). Coming off a great turn in The Dark Knight Rises, not to mention his impending appearance in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln later this year, it'll be nice to see Gordon-Levitt having a little fun again. Here's one of my favorite parts of his hosting debut, where he does a solid impersonation of Jason Mraz:
Finally, the fall will also see James Bond himself heading to Studio 8H, as Daniel Craig has been set to host on October 6th, a full month before Skyfall hits theaters on November 9th. This will be Craig's first time hosting Saturday Night Live, and considering we've only see him do subtle comedy as Agent 007, it'll be interesting to see how he fares outside of his usual dramatic fare - especially on live television. Craig will be joined by his fellow Brits - the alternative rock band Muse - whose new album The 2nd Law hits shelves on October 2nd.
This is a hell of a way to start the new season of Saturday Night Live, especially with two new hosts making their debut. However, I'm wondering if we'll get any cast additions before the season premiere. Losing three key cast members is kind of a big deal, but new additions usually aren't announced until closer to the premiere, and those kind of decisions tend to come at random intervals.
The 38th season of Saturday Night Live premieres September 15th at 11:30pm.