This weekend on Saturday Night Live, break-out star of the summer Awkwafina hosts with musical guest Travis Scott.
It’s going to be hard to top last week’s Matt Damon-cameoing, Kanye West-ranting scorcher of an episode… yeah people are going to be talking about Kanye on SNL for a long time, between the aforementioned rant and the dressing up as a Perrier bottle for some reason.
But you know who people are also talking about now? Awkwafina, the summer’s break out star. Between stealing everyone’s wallet in Ocean’s 8 to stealing the show in Crazy Rich Asians, Awkwafina is on the radar now. Everyone’s been talking about her role in Crazy Rich Asians – it’s delightfully hilarious and really well acted – it’s just one of those roles that rockets someone into stardom.
She’s breaking some SNL records, too – like, being the first Asian woman to host Saturday Night Live in 18 years, since Lucy Liu hosted in 2000 (so at least she’s not the first this century, buuuuuut it’s close), and being the first YouTube breakout star to host the show. All other hosts thus far have gone the traditional Hollywood (or equitable sports/music/broadway/political) route to end up center stage at 30 Rock. Awkwafina was a YouTube sensation in 2012 with her music video “My Vag” quickly gaining so many views – because she’s also a rapper, by the way! Get with it! And get ready SNL fans, no host before is going to be like Awkwafina.
So, it’s one episode in to season 44. First – wow that’s a lot of seasons! Second, what is season 44 looking like it’s going to offer us? Episode one had a Smörgåsbord board of offerings – some high quality meta pretapes, a couple of classic SNL-silly concept sketches and some good old fashioned political humour, too. It’s so far shaping up to be similar to the past couple seasons – especially with the highly political, cameo-laden cold open.
So what’s new this year? Well, there’s Ego Nwodim, the new cast member – but she unfortunately didn’t get to say much in the season opener. That’s not unusual, the newbies usually get placed in background roles for the first few episodes. What the first episode of season 44 did that was new, or at least hasn’t happened a lot before, was the third musical performance to close the show. In lieu of a traditionally hit-or-miss ten to 1am sketch, Kanye West got a third song. This seemed to work for the structure of the show – audiences tend to tune out of the last 15 minutes of the show, which is why the delightfully bizarre sketches or the ones that don’t necessarily hit the mark are put last. But putting a third, less spectacle dependant performance at the end of the show gives people a bit more of that SNL charm – they get to see the cast and crew chumming out, listening to music.
This could seriously work – and hopefully, they keep trying it out. Find out for sure on Saturday Night Live this Saturday October 6 at 11.30 et/8.30 pt on Global. Don’t miss it!