This Saturday brings the Season 48 premiere of Lorne Michaels & NBC's Saturday Night Live, with Miles Teller (Top Gun: Maverick) set to host and Kendrick Lamar as musical guest. The season premiere also brings new featured players, Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow, and Devon Walker. And looking ahead, October 8th brings Brendan Gleeson as host and musical guest Willow, while October 15th finds Megan Thee Stallion doing double duty as both host & musical guest. But returning to this week, it appears the SNL press cycle is running like a machine once again, kicking off with a formal intro video welcoming Teller and Lamar to Studio 8H.
Set to return for its jaw-dropping 48th season, here's a look at NBC's Saturday Night Live season premiere video released this afternoon:
Speaking with The New York Times, Michaels addressed the casting changes, labeling the upcoming season as "a year of reinvention" that could lead to some "exhilarating" change. He also had some reassuring words for "Weekend Update" fans and teased what's in store for SNL's big 50th-anniversary celebration. Here are some of the highlights:
COVID-19 Fallout Resulted in Much Larger SNL Cast Than Usual: "The pandemic had put us in this position where no one could really leave because there were no jobs. And at the same time, if I don't add new people every year, then the show isn't the show. There have to be new people, for both our sake and also for the audience."
Michaels Believes Cast Departures are Good Things for SNL: "We got to a point where we had a lot of people, and people weren't getting enough playing time. The way the series has survived is by that level of renewal. The price of success is that people go off and do other things; their primary obligation is to their talent and to keep pushing that. And there's something so much better about the show when all that matters is the show. There's a time to say goodbye, and there's a natural time for it, but the natural time just got interfered with by the pandemic."
… Except with Colin Jost, Michael Che & "Weekend Update": "Particularly, coming into a midterm election, I just need that part ['Weekend Update' with Che & Jost] to be as solid as it is."
SNL's 50th Anniversary/Season? Think Big: "The 50th will be a big event. We'll bring everyone back from all 50 years and hosts and all of that. It will be a very emotional and very strong thing. There won't be as many plus-ones, I can tell you that much."