Why Signing Chris Rock For SNL's Opener Felt Like The Godfather, According To Michael Che

Chris Rock on Saturday Night Live (2014)

After enduring changes due to the global health crisis, Saturday Night Live is finally set to return to the studio for the Season 46 premiere. Things are set to start off on a high note with host Chris Rock and musical guest Megan Thee Stallion. Rock is more than used to the feel of performing at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, having served as a cast member and host on SNL. However, with COVID-19 now a factor, he needed a bit of convincing to return this time around and, according to Michael Che, the result was actually similar to a scene from The Godfather.

It turns out SNL Weekend Update hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost actually had to go to Chris Rock’s house to convince him to host the season premiere. When discussing the situation, Che made note of how similar the confrontation was to an iconic scene from The Godfather:

We literally went to Chris Rock's house to tell him to do SNL and it felt like that scene in The Godfather. Remember when Tom Hagen goes to tell the guy to put the dude in the movie? I've never seen The Godfather but someone told me it was similar.

Most are sure to remember that key moment from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece, which ultimately led to a severed horse’s head turning up in someone’s bed. Luckily for Chris Rock, things didn’t get that extreme.

During his and Colin Jost’s recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Che also recalled stressing to Rock just how important his SNL return would be not just to the show but to the city of New York:

I’m literally like, ‘How could you not? You got to do it, man. It's New York City. We're back in 30 Rock. You got to come home, and we got to make people feel good again.

Many would probably agree with Michael Che’s sentiments. The pandemic has been physically and mentally draining for a lot of us, and Saturday Night Live’s return could be the positive boost TV watchers have been waiting for.

Things are likely even more exciting for those who will actually be able to attend the sold-out season premiere. However, things will be different when guests arrive to see Chris Rock and the cast perform. The show has set forth various new protocols to ensure the safety of guests and the cast and crew. These include on-site COVID-19 tests, temperature checks and health-related questions asked by show officials.

Saturday Night Live will certainly look different when Chris Rock takes the stage, yet there’s still plenty to look forward to with the new season, including the debut of Jim Carrey’s Joe Biden.

Saturday Night Live returns tonight at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.