The first time Melissa McCarthy hosted Saturday Night Live, she was just coming off the enormous success of 2011’s Bridesmaids. The second time she stopped by Studio 8H, she was promoting her then-upcoming Sandra Bullock buddy comedy The Heat. This time around, though, McCarthy has no immediate projects to plug, unless you count her continuing work on CBS’s Mike & Molly. (And really, who does? Memo to Chuck Lorre: Free Melissa!)
That means the show is bringing McCarthy back largely for one reason: Simply put, she’s really great at hosting SNL. In fact, according to you guys, she was the funniest woman who helmed SNL all of last year — and that season’s second-greatest host period, topped only by Justin Timberlake.
So, could this hat trick performance help McCarthy snag the title of Season 39’s Ms. Saturday Night? While it’s never a good idea to set SNL expectations too high, presuming great things from this particular host seems like a safe bet. McCarthy will, however, have to contend with a few things that could possibly overshadow her personal performance — namely, the imminent departure of Seth Meyers and the beginning of Colin Jost’s Weekend Update reign.
If ever an SNL mainstay deserved a big, splashy sendoff, it’s Meyers; he’s the show’s second-longest-tenured cast member ever (at 12.5 seasons to Darrell Hammond’s 14) as well as its second-longest-tenured head writer (at 8.5 seasons to Jim Downey’s nine). All in all, he’s garnered 10 Emmy nominations and one win (for Justin Timberlake’s 2011 monologue song) for his work on the show. For a long time, Meyers practically was SNL, and it’ll be fascinating to see how the series evolves in his absence. In the meantime, though, we should hope for some kind of fitting farewell — perhaps even one that reunites Meyers with his loving husband, Stefon.
How do you think the show should say goodbye to Seth Meyers? What are you hoping to see from McCarthy’s third time as host? Are you, like me, crossing your fingers for a few sketches that don’t cast her as a socially inept weirdo, and don’t make her weight the butt of the joke? And who else is hoping that Kendrick Lamar might stop by to liven up the show’s musical performances, which tonight will feature newly-minted Grammy winners Imagine Dragons? Hash it all out below, and check back tomorrow morning for a full recap.