Saturday Night Live, from the producer Lorne Michaels, kicked off its 40th season on September 27th with Chris Pratt, the host, and musical guest Ariana Grande. Emerging on October 11th, 1975, SNL has been going strong ever since. With a rotating cast since then, comedy has certainly changed from the hour and a half running of the show on Saturday nights.
The lineup has changed this year because members have left to pursue other interests or they simply did not get enough reception on the show. Longtime announcer, Don Pardo, died at the age of 96 on August 15th. He announced the cast of SNL for 38 seasons but is now replaced by veteran cast member Darrell Hammond, well-known for playing Sean Connery in Jeopardy sketches. People who moved on from SNL include: Noël Wells, Brooks Wheelan, John Milhiser, and Nasim Pedrad. Each have been known for their own personal sketches in the show such as impersonating Kim Kardashian or playing themselves like Wheelan did on the Weekend Update segment. However, Kenan Thompson, a fan favorite, remains a veteran from sketches like “What Up With That?” or “NFL Previews.” Colin Jost, the new host for Weekend Update, lingers with help from Michael Che this season.
SNL still needs to get into the right groove for its 40th season. To kick off the season, Chris Pratt hosted. It is a wise considering his comedic background in Parks and Recreation. The Marvel trailer from the episode poked fun at Pratt’s role in Guardians of the Galaxy this year. Weekend Update was switched around as Cecily Strong is not co-hosting with Colin Jost anymore. Instead, Michael Che, a previous correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, is co-hosting. Sarah Silverman also hosted with musical guest Maroon 5 the week after. Most people are unaware that she was on SNL in the late 90s. They criticized the ebola craze in “The Fault in Our Stars 2: The Ebola in our Everything.” The latest host, a previous SNL member named Bill Hader, returned on October 11th. Noted for his character Stefon, Hader has made a name for himself by starring in The Skeleton Twins this year alongside Kristen Wiig. The slated hosts for the next couple of weeks are Jim Carrey and Chris Rock with musical guests Iggy Azalea and Prince.
Saturday Night Live prevails as a comedic powerhouse full of new talent. With Lorne Michaels at the helm, the show continues to produce an animated audience on primetime television. Fans will just have to wait until the next episode to discover what the cast has in store.