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Blake Shelton takes over 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend: Talk about it here!

Don’t you just love the smell of corporate synergy in the morning?

Perhaps that’s an unfair statement. Country star Blake Shelton’s status as The Voice‘s top dog—he’s one of only two celebrity coaches to appear on every season of the series, and his contestants have won the competition’s big prize a whopping four out of seven times—certainly isn’t the only reason he’s been tapped to serve as Saturday Night Live‘s host and musical guest tonight.

Anyone who’s tuned in for even a single Voice episode knows that Shelton’s more than a country singer. His easygoing, down-home charm and likable banter with his fellow coaches—especially Adam Levine, who was tapped to pull double duty on SNL himself two years ago—both made Shelton the hit show’s breakout star and indicate that he’d be more than comfortable in a variety show setting. See also: Shelton’s 2012 holiday special, Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas, the highlight of which is a claymation sketch that finds the host and his pal Larry the Cable Guy accidentally murdering Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

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Kevin Hart hosts 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend: Talk about it here!

The end of 2014 and beginning of 2015 have been kinda rough for Kevin Hart. In December, a leaked email thread revealed that he’d allegedly asked to be paid additional money beyond his $3 million salary to tweet about an upcoming movie; “I’m not saying he’s a whore,” a studio exec reportedly wrote, “but he’s a whore.” (“Knowing your self worth is extremely important,” Hart wrote on Instagram after the email was published. “I OWN MY BRAND….I MAKE SMART DECISIONS FOR MY BRAND.”) The jokes he made while presenting at last week’s Golden Globes—one about how animated filmmakers have imaginations “fueled by weed,” one about how he wasn’t going to promote his new movie from the stage…before he promoted his new movie from the stage—both bombed, loudly.

And the aforementioned movie, which Hart will undoubtedly promote early and often on Saturday Night Live as well, is earning dismal reviews and less than impressive box office—especially compared to the comedian’s last January release. (Ride Along made $14.4 million on Jan. 17 alone last year; it earned $41.5 million its first weekend in total, making it the strongest January opening ever until the blockbuster success of this weekend’s American Sniper. The Wedding Ringer doesn’t look on pace to earn anywhere near that much.)

So: Could tonight’s SNL give Hart a chance to turn it all around—or even, as Don Draper would say, to change the conversation?

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'Saturday Night Live' exhibit coming to NYC in spring

It’s been 40 years since Saturday Night Live first kicked open its doors to introduce audiences to some of the most iconic sketches, hilarious bits, and memorable musical performances on television. This spring, SNL fans can get to know their favorite Saturday late-night show even better with “Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition,” coming to Premier on 5th in New York. READ FULL STORY

Amy Adams hosts 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend -- talk about it here

Sorry, Amy—but North Korea may have just hijacked your Saturday Night Live Christmas show.

Normally, SNL‘s last episode of the year is a merry occasion filled with starry cameos, seasonal good vibes, schweddy balls (if we’re lucky), and plenty of extra musical interludes—à la Jimmy Fallon and Cecily Strong’s sweet “Baby It’s Cold Outside” update, or Fallon and friends’ “I Wish It Was Christmas Today,” or “Do It on my Twin Bed” (which, yes, also features Fallon). Given Adams’ own sunny disposition and proven singing ability, we can certainly still count on seeing this sort of thing come tonight’s show.

But the cheer is likely to get overshadowed by the week’s biggest news story: the revelation that North Korea’s government ordered hackers to attack Sony Pictures Entertainment, and that the hacking—as well as threats made against theaters scheduled to show The Interview—led to Sony pulling the movie, perhaps indefinitely. READ FULL STORY

Martin Freeman hosts 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend: Talk about it here

Okay, so maybe this week’s SNL won’t be quite as exciting as it would be if a certain other Sherlock star were in the hot seat.

Which isn’t to say that Martin Freeman is anyone’s second fiddle. From The Office to The Hobbit to Fargo to the parts of Sherlock when Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t sucking up all the attention in the room, the man otherwise known as Dr. Watson has more than proven himself capable of holding his own onscreen. And even if his personal following isn’t quite as fervent as the Cumberbitches are—though what fan clan is these days, except maybe Beliebers?—it’s still plenty huge, thanks to the cultish appeal of his most notable projects: See, for example, reports from this summer’s West End production of Richard III, where some theatergoers complained that Freeman’s fans were “ruining” the show by clapping and cheering at inappropriate moments. READ FULL STORY

James Franco hosts 'Saturday Night Live' tonight: Discuss

What is left to say about James Franco?

The answer: Not much. We know he’s a veteran of tentpole franchises and weird indies and somber Oscar bait, as well as sitcoms and soaps and the Broadway stage; we know he’s a modern Renaissance man who, in addition to acting, also dabbles in screenwriting and directing and short story-writing and modeling and drawing and sculpting and, like, shoe commercials or whatever; we know he’s done graduate coursework at multiple learning institutions; we know that time he hosted the Oscars, it didn’t go so well; we know he got into some hot water this spring for propositioning a teenager on Instagram; we know, perhaps due to all of the above, that it’s surprisingly satisfying to watch him get punched in the face. Especially on an endless loop.

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Woody Harrelson hosts 'Saturday Night Live': Talk about it here!

Will the odds be in Woody Harrelson’s favor when he hosts Saturday Night Live tonight? Let’s examine the evidence.

Pro: He has hosted the show twice before (and did a cameo in host Kirstie Alley’s monologue back in ’91, along with the rest of the Cheers gang), so he understands what’s expected of him and should be fairly comfortable coming back to Studio 8H. Con: He hasn’t hosted since the Bush administration. The first Bush administration.

Harrelson’s last SNL stint began with a cold open about Johnny Carson leaving The Tonight Show; characters appearing on the episode included Adam Sandler’s Opera Man and a Rob Schneider invention called “Jeff, the Sensitive Naked Man.” Harrelson’s big sketch revolved around his boyish good looks and perfectly sculpted chest. Another ended with a Rodney King joke. In short: It was a different time.

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Chris Rock and Prince do 'Saturday Night Live' tonight: Talk about it here

Chris Rock—writer, director, actor, comedian, Emmy winner, Grammy winner, former Oscar host, and all-around likable dude despite his tendency to make Grown Ups movies—is hosting SNL Saturday night, for only the second time ever, and the first time since 1996. (At the time, Rock was only a few years removed from being a cast member on Saturday Night Live himself.)

But you’d barely know this going by the episode’s two sets of promos—both of which focus exclusively on how exciting it is that Prince is also coming back to Studio 8H. (The Purple One hasn’t been on Saturday Night Live in awhile either, though his last visit came more recently than Rock’s.) Rock himself seems more jazzed about Prince’s appearance than his own—even though Prince couldn’t be bothered to show up for the second promo reel, which traditionally features both host and musical guest.

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Chris Rock's 'SNL' promos are mostly about Prince

But really, can you blame him?

Sure, former Saturday Night Live cast member Chris Rock returning to host the show for the first time since 1996—his musical guest was The Wallflowers! The Wallflowers!—is a pretty big deal. But even Rock admits it’s not quite as exciting as the presence of the Purple One, whose Nov. 1 performance will take the format of one uninterrupted eight-minute jam session. (Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. on Nov. 2, giving some viewers an extra hour on Sunday to replay that eight-minute jam session over and over.)

So even though The Artist doesn’t actually show up in these promos—unless you count Bobby Moynihan’s impish impression of him—Prince is basically the invisible star.

Also all over the video: Unfamous people filming its filming on their phones, which is what happens when you decide to shoot the promos in the middle of Rockefeller Center. What a time to be alive. READ FULL STORY

Bill Hader hosts 'Saturday Night Live' this week-talk about it here!

Tonight’s episode of SNL will have everything.

Okay, maybe not. But after a shaky start, a visit from a beloved former cast member might be just what season 40 needs to get back on track. And Bill Hader isn’t just one of the show’s best-known recent alumni—he’s among the most skillful, versatile players in SNL history. Some would even call him the show’s best cast member ever; no less an authority than Bill Murray is one of those people. READ FULL STORY

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