Saturday Night Live has been on hiatus for some time now, but the show will be returning for new Season 41 episodes in the next couple of weeks. We already know Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor Adam Driver is set to headline the January 16 episode, and this morning NBC announced the host that will follow his stint. That upcoming host is none other than Ronda Rousey. Along with Rousey, Selena Gomez has been signed on as the musical guest.
The past year has been a pretty prominent one for Ronda Rousey, who made news when she actively lobbied to play Captain Marvel and landed a gig on the Road House reboot instead. She also had several memorable MMA fights this year and November had her first MMA loss to Holly Holm. A rematch is expected between Rousey and Holm. Somehow, in her spare time between acting and fighting, she’s found time to head to Studio 8H, where she will try her hand at sketch comedy for the first time.
Athletes have traditionally run the gamut on Saturday Night Live. Hosts like Charles Barkley have rocked and been asked back again and again, while Michael Phelps was given only one opportunity, for fairly obvious reasons. Ronda Rousey obviously has more acting experience than a lot of the athletes who have been asked to host an episode of the long-running sketch comedy series, so you would think she would crush it out. However, SNL is a totally different format than any other kind of acting, and the grueling week-long work schedule leading up to the live performance has taken a toll on the best of them.
Not only will it be Ronda Rousey’s first appearance on the series, it will be Selena Gomez’s, as well. The popular singer and former girlfriend of Justin Bieber is also an actress in her own right, having become famous for a role in Wizards of Waverly Place and more recently has done film work with Spring Breakers and Hotel Transylvania 2, not to mention has a Netflix series coming up. Sometimes the musical guest will get to pop up in a sketch or two, and I’m hopeful the episode will work it out so that Gomez gets to flex her acting muscles as well as her vocal cords.
The Ronda Rousey and Selena Gomez episode will air on January 23, just one week after Adam Driver also makes his SNL debut, alongside country music singer and Grammy nominee Chris Stapleton (who is also debuting). It’s going to be a month of newbies on the sketch comedy series. We know it’s a little hard to get excited when SNL is coming off an episode that was double hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey and featured Bruce Springsteen, the E Street Band and Paul McCartney. All I’m saying is the show could definitely do worse than Ronda Rousey.
Catch Saturday Night Live on Saturdays—duh—at 11:30 p.m. ET. If you’d like to find out when the rest of your favorite TV shows will be returning, you should check out our full midseason TV schedule.
Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.
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