Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Bang! “SNL” Returns with High Ratings for Host Aubrey Plaza, Singer Sam Smith, Guest Stars


The first “SNL” of 2023 was a big hit.

Aubrey Plaza hosted, Sam Smith was the musical guest, and the total viewers hit a very healthy 4.8 million. This episode tied Dave Chappelle’s hosting night after the 2022 elections.

There were guest stars aplenty, too. The mighty, sexy Sharon Stone turned up in one of Smith’s numbers and on her own. It was great to see her.

Amy Poehler rolled in for “Weekend Update” playing her “Parks and Recreation” character Leslie Knope. Amy needs to get back to regular work and away from her craft show or whatever that thing is.

Also, strangely, came the Property Brothers and Tony Hawk.

Smith was weird, but the rest of the show was pretty good and funny. James Austin Johnson is starting to do more work as an actor and not just a mimic (which we love). He’s really knocking it out of the park.

Plaza brought her “White Lotus” fans with her, although the parody of the HBO Show– called “The Black Lotus” — didn’t include her.

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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