NBA legend Charles Barkley will host Saturday Night Live on March 3, with support from musical guest Migos.
In a season so jam-packed with celebrities that are both at the top of their game and the top of the entertainment headlines, it seems questionable to bring in an anti-ringer like Charles Barkley (definitely not a bad decision – hold on, we’re getting there). Following the likes of Gal Gadot (hot off last summer’s biggest superhero flick Wonder Woman), Ryan Gosling (America’s Canadian sweetheart), Kevin Hart (quite possibly the biggest stand up comedian around), Will Ferrell (SNL‘s very own golden boy), Saoirse Ronan (from last year’s breakout hit Ladybird), Charles Barkley is a sports commentator, long-time retired basketball player and one-time Oscar snubee for 1996’s Space Jam along with the rest of the cast and crew.
He’s even a bit of a punchline at Saturday Night Live. Keenan Thompson has been impersonating him for over 10 years – most recently in December’s Kevin Hart episode:
So why is having Charles Barkley host a baller move (yes, wordplay that good deserves to be used twice)? Not to (continually) drag on Barkley, but because Saturday Night Live doesn’t need the star power before. Yes, Barkley is a sports legend. Yes, Barkley is accustom to making small appearances – typically as himself – on comedy shows. Yes, Barkley has hosted SNL before – three times, actually, the first being 25 years ago this year and the most recent being 2012. But, Saturday Night Live is comfortable enough to not have to have a trend-worthy host every week. They’re on a hot streak – have been for the past couple years – with a solid cast, writing team and a solid grasp on how to do political comedy these days – between Weekend Update tearing President Donald Trump such a a big hole each week that it wouldn’t even be covered by the Obamacare he’s tried so hard to destroy, and the borderline displays of civil disobedience through the Alec Baldwin cold opens, Saturday Night Live is in a good spot.
While shows like Fallon and Corbin desperately try their hardest to get the hottest stars doing the goofiest things for the trendiest hashtags, SNL booking Barkley shows confidence in themselves rather than riding the popularity wave of the host. SNL doesn’t need some superficial and phoney carpool karaoke or a “Wheel of” something-or-other to succeed. It has Saturday Night Live; its cast, its crew, and its writing staff. It can succeed no matter who is on, because it will use the host and itself to both their potentials.
That’s why Charles Barkley is going to host a great freaking episode of Saturday Night Live. Saturday Night Live is on a hot streak. Saturday Night Live likes Charles Barkley. Saturday Night Live is going to have fun, because Saturday Night Live knows it will produce an amazing episode, regardless of host.
So be sure to watch Charles Barkley and Migos on Saturday Night Live airing Saturday, March 3 at 11.30 et/8.30 pt on Global. Catch up on full SNL skits and episodes online the day after broadcast on GlobalTV.com/SaturdayNightLive