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It rarely happens, but this week’s Saturday Night Live episode is actually featuring a musical guest that many people are more stoked about than the host. Kenan Thompson knows it, and deep down, host Chris Rock knows it, too. Check out the Prince-oriented SNL promos, below.
During the short clips, Rock pops up without Prince, which isn’t unusual, as musical guests don’t often take part in the SNL commercial footage. However, the video is all about the musical guest, with Rock explaining “the legend of Prince.” The legend goes, “If you say his name three times as sexy as possible, he will appear.” Apparently, Chris Rock and SNL veteran Kenan Thompson aren’t bringing sexy back anytime soon, as—spoiler alert—Prince fails to appear. A second clip is also pretty amusing, as it features Kenan poking fun at Rock’s level of fame versus Prince’s level of fame. Rock fakes being offended, but seriously, the comedian could never get away with being called The Artist Formerly Known As Rock. True fame has no boundaries. Here’s the other promotional video.
In reality, Chris Rock’s appearance on the show is an important one. After actually appearing on SNL in the early nineties, the actor and comedian hosted one episode back in 1996. This weekend’s gig will be his first performance on the show in 18 years. It’s a big deal, just maybe not as big of a deal as Prince. Honestly, everything about Prince’s performance this weekend is a notch above every musical guest appearance we’ve seen in recent years.
Prince has been crazy prolific in the last year. The man released new albums Art Official Age and (with his band 3RDEYEGIRL) Plectrumelectrum in 2014 and he’s appearing on SNL Season 40 to support the new work. However, since it’s Prince, he won’t be popping up twice in the episode like every other musical guest. Instead, the musical guest will be performing one eight-minute jam session on the late night sketch series. During the performance, he’ll be backed by 3RDEYEGIRL, and perhaps most impressively, he got NBC to agree to no commercial interruptions during the eight-minute stint.
It’s kind of funny how the Chris Rock and Prince appearances complement one another. Rock is back for the first time in 18 years, but he’s only back because he requested Prince appear as the the musical guest. Prince’s lengthy appearance will be an unprecedented one over at 30 Rock, but it’s only happening because Rock requested it happen. It has some nice symmetry, doesn’t it? You can catch this weekend’s SNL on NBC at 11:30 p.m. ET.