Monday, May 20, 2024

Is “SNL” Having Trouble Getting Hosts? Next Show Will Again Feature Double Duty Musical Guest (Jack Harlow)


Not sure what’s going on at “Saturday Night Live.” They appear to be having trouble booking hosts.

Last night the host and musical guest was Megan Thee Stallion. Double duty hosts are rare and not always a ratings grabber. At least when “SNL” has two different stars coming in, they’re pulling from a variety of areas for an audience. If the host is young and hip, then at least the musical act is broader, or vice versa.

So it was a shock to learn during the show that the next live installment, on October 29th, would be hosted by musical guest Jack Harlow. Huh? Harlow, a white rapper, seems to be a favorite in Lorne Michaels’ office. He recently co-hosted Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. Why? Not made clear. He seems like a nice guy, but he’s not exactly a superstar. Many are scratching heads wondering exactly what he does. I guess we’ll find out on October 29th.

But aren’t there a plethora of TV and movie stars standing on line to host the show? What happened to the campaign for Carol Burnett? Why hasn’t Whoopi Goldberg ever hosted? Why aren’t we seeing Cate Blanchett, Movie Star of the Moment?

Meantime, what we do know is a lot of money is being put into 24 year old Harlow, who comes from a Louisville horse racing family, to build him as a star. He’s just filmed the remake of “White Men Can’t Jump,” had a solo hit single, with “First Class,” and a featured hit with Lil Nas X. He’s everywhere suddenly. The fix, as they used to say, is in.

As for “SNL,” we won’t know until late Monday or early Tuesday if the Megan Thee Stallion plan worked with viewers. I watched it for an hour, happy to have closed captions thanks to the amount of mumbling. And the show did not use the Herschel Walker sheriff’s badge episode as a sketch, which was too bad.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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