At long last, Saturday Night Live returns to NBC later tonight for its milestone 45th season with Venom 2 star Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish in tow. The premiere will mark Harrelson’s fourth time hosting the live comedy show after having last hosted in 2014. His other appearances were on November 18, 1989 and May 16, 1992. It’s Eilish’s first time on the show.
In an interview earlier this week, Eilish revealed she’d be playing two of her most popular songs during the premiere, including “Bad Guy” and “I Love You,” two tracks from her debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? “Bad Guy” peaked atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, ending Lil Nas X’s record-breaking run with “Old Town Road.” As of this week, the track still comes in third on the chart.
The 45th season of SNL will also come will a few changes — most notably the loss of mainstay Leslie Jones. News surfaced earlier this summer Jones had left the show to pursue her film and television career. To help take her place, Lorne Michaels and company promoted Heidi Gardner and Chris Redd to repertory players while adding newcomers Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, both of which will serve as featured players along with Ego Nwodim.
Fineman and Yang were initially announced as new pieces of the cast alongside Shane Gillis before video from last year surfaced involving the comedian telling racist jokes. Saturday Night Live has since removed him from the show.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining ‘SNL,’” the show said in a statement announcing they had moved on from the comedian. “We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as comedian and his impressive audition for SNL. We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”
Photo by Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images
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