by: Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
Now that fall has officially begun, that means one thing: SNL is back. After its summer break, the show finally returned to its 11:30 p.m. Saturday timeslot on Sept. 29. Three weeks into their 44th season, the show is already getting a lot of buzz for its first three episodes.
Most of the cast from the previous season has returned, with the exception of Luke Null, whose departure was announced in late August. Although his reason for departure was never announced, he is back in his hometown of Chicago. While he was the only cast member to be let go, SNL upgraded cast members Mikey Day, Alex Moffat, and Melissa Villaseñor from featured players to repertory players—which is essentially just a raise—for this upcoming season.
When it comes to newcomers, SNL hired Ego Nwodim, a comedian from Baltimore. Prior to SNL, she was a regular with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles, performing her own stand-up shows.
The show kicked off its season with host Adam Driver (who plays Kylo Ren from the new Star Wars films) and musical guest Kanye West. In the past two weeks, comedian and Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina and SNL alum/late-night host Seth Meyers took on hosting duties, with musical guests Travis Scott and Paul Simon, respectively. For this upcoming fourth week of the season, Jonah Hill will be hosting, with musical guest Maggie Rogers.
Although the season just started, it has already gotten a lot of buzz in the media, from Kanye’s politically motivated outburst following the end of the show’s Season 44 premiere, to Alec Baldwin’s reprisal of his role as President Donald Trump. The show has never shied away from addressing politics in past seasons, and viewers should not expect this season to be any different. The show has already done skits on West’s meeting with President Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh’s (portrayed by Matt Damon) Senate confirmation.
The show has even performed skits that poke fun at cast member Pete Davidson’s now former relationship with pop singer Ariana Grande. The show is also bringing back fan-favorite skits, like “Weekend Update” with Colin Jost and Michael Che, which is a recap of various events or news that took place the previous week. The early episodes have received average and above average reviews from critics, and fans seem to be pleased with the first three episodes of the season.