Saturday Night Live Video: Welcome to Studio 8H, Keke Palmer & SZA!

After a two-week break, Lorne Michaels & SNL's Saturday Night Live is back this week with a new show, and we're more excited than usual for it. First, it's nice to have SNL back. And then, on top of that, we have Keke Palmer (Nope) set to host, with musical guest SZA also taking the stages of Studio 8H. That's a one-two combination that vibes that a good show is on the way. So to kick off the promo cycle, we have SNL officially welcoming this week's host and musical guest via video.

saturday night live
Image: SNL Screencaps

Now here's a look at the official intro video released earlier today, followed by a look back at what Michaels had to share about the current season before it kicked off as well as SNL's long-term future:

NBC's SNL Season 48 includes Michael Che, Mikey Day, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Marcello Hernandez, James Austin Johnson, Punkie Johnson, Colin Jost, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow, Ego Nwodim, Sarah Sherman, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Devon Walker, and Bowen Yang. Executive produced by Michaels, SNL is directed by Liz Patrick, with alum Darrell Hammond announcing. Based out of Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, the long-running late-night sketch comedy/music series is produced by SNL Studios in association with Universal Television and Broadway Video.

Saturday Night Live
Image: NBCUniversal

Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live Season 48, SNL Future & More

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."

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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