The past year has been huge for Saturday Night Live, thanks to its highly publicized "feud" with President Donald Trump, and Season 42 ratings have shown this season has been the most watched season of the series since the early 90s. Looking to keep that momentum rolling, the sketch comedy staple has already commissioned a Weekend Update spinoff as well as another change the show announced today. For the first time ever, Saturday Night Live will be truly "live" for all.
Half of the nation is probably scratching their head right now wondering why this is news. For those of you that live on the East coast or in Central time zones, Saturday Night Live has always been live. People who watch Saturday Night Live in Mountain Time or Pacific Time zones usually have to watch on tape delay, though, meaning they miss all those surprise f-bombs and the occasionally controversial joke; for the most part, though, the show is unchanged. Beginning April 15th, however, all of the United States will get to see the show live, which obviously means the SNL will be airing much earlier than its typical West Coast time. Not to worry if you aren't wanting to change your schedule, though, as the tape-delayed version will still air at its usual time.
As for who will be filling in the guest host spots for all those all-live shows, Saturday Night Live dropped their big list on Twitter for the remaining episodes, and they have a great lineup for the final stretch! Season 42 will come to a close May 20th when Dwayne Johnson hosts for his third time on Saturday Night Live. There are few better ways to bow out than with the greatest entertainer who has ever lived. Or something like that.
Before all that, April 15th kicks off with former SNL vet and current late night host Jimmy Fallon, which will be his third time hosting since departing Saturday Night LiveI, and the first time since he began hosting The Tonight Show. May 6th brings Chris Pine, who has appeared on the show in the past but has never hosted before. May 13th's penultimate episode will feature now-four-time host Melissa McCarthy, who has already appeared on the current season in sketches parodying White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Will the whole nation watching the show live have any impact on Saturday Night Live? Maybe or maybe not, but it will ensure the show has more control over what is and isn't seen on the tape delay version as well as provide a boost to their live viewership numbers. It will be interesting to see if the change remains as the cast heads into Season 43, or if this is just a four-off test that will change back after the summer hiatus. Speaking of summer, you'll need something to get into when SNL is out of season so check out our summer premiere guide, or, if you need something now, go to our midseason premiere guide.