It’s been a long time since Saturday Night Live was must-see television, but the election of Donald Trump as president lit a fire under the writers and performers over there, and it’s nearly every week now that there’s a sketch that has everyone talking on Sunday morning. So it’s fitting that SNL is venturing into uncharted territory for its final four episodes, as the show will for the first time ever air live coast to coast. Yes indeed, the next four episodes of Saturday Night Live will start, locally, at 11:30pm Eastern, 10:30pm Central, 9:30pm Mountain, and 8:30pm Pacific. For the Mountain and Pacific time zones, SNL will be repeated at 11:30pm.
And the show is bulking up for the final four episodes too, as the hosts are as follows:
April 15 – Jimmy Fallon
May 6 – Chris Pine
May 13 – Melissa McCarthy
May 20 – Dwayne Johnson
The musical guests aren’t yet announced, but I know most already have their eye on that May 13th show. McCarthy made a surprise debut this season as press secretary Sean Spicer in one of the best recurring bits in SNL history, and I can’t wait to see what else McCarthy and the writers have up their sleeves in a couple of months. Fallon, too, is interesting given both his and SNL’s “softball” history with Trump. SNL turned the corner hard this season, so will Fallon finally get a little “controversial” for his Tonight Show brand?
This has been the most-watched season of SNL in 24 years, back when TV viewers weren’t inundated with 500 different channels, so it’s exciting to see the SNL folks looking to go out on a high note. And with the future of head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider possibly in doubt due to the duo landing a pilot deal at Comedy Central, and with Bobby Moynihan and potentially Kate McKinnon heading for the exit, this could be one hell of a grand finale.