Charlize Theron last hosted Saturday Night Live in November of 2000 — which might as well have been a lifetime ago. The episode, which aired just days before that year’s presidential election, featured a running gag about possible outcomes (President Ralph Nader’s address to the nation is interrupted by a flying pig and frozen devils); the night was filled with Fey-era recurring characters like Will Ferrell’s Robert Goulet and the ladies of Gemini’s Twin and even Chris Kattan’s Mr. Peepers; Theron herself was there to promote The Legend of Bagger Vance, a movie which single-handedly made her chances of ever winning an Oscar seem pretty slim.
Another indication of changing times? Back then, Theron was mainly given only one type of role — the ditzy girl group member, a hot blonde at the Buena Vista Social Club, Marilyn Monroe. But even though Theron is still jaw-droppingly gorgeous, we know now that she’s also capable of being much more than window dressing. Monster proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she could act — and just as importantly, Arrested Development proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she can do comedy. Take all the gold stars you want, Charlize.
This time around, Theron will hopefully get more of an opportunity to show off her range — especially given that the movie she’s promoting (Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West) also happens to be a comedy. My personal wish? “Game of Therons,” which was first floated as as a sketch idea in this 2012 Funny or Die video; sure, it was just a joke, but there’s big potential there. Imagine Charlize’s Cersei! It could be even more beautiful and terrible than those flawless Dior ads.
Theron’s musical guest will be The Black Keys, performing three years after their last SNL stint and three days before the release of their eighth studio album. There is a slim but very real chance that their appearance will mean a Mike Tyson cameo, which is something we’ll all have to prepare ourselves for. Related: Did you know Mike Tyson has a Scooby Doo-esque cartoon coming to Adult Swim next season? Because, for some unfathomable reason, he does.
Anyway: What are you hoping to see from Charlize and the Black Keys and other people whose names don’t rhyme tonight? Think we might get drop-ins from MacFarlane (fun!) or Theron Ther-man Sean Penn (less fun!)? Will Leslie Jones return to the Update desk to discuss the controversy brewing about her slavery jokes? And how many residual Donald Sterling jokes do you think we’re in for? Discuss below, and check back in the morning for a full recap.