Saturday Night Live is back again for one more episode before the extended holiday break. Featuring the return of former SNL mainstay Kristen Wiig as host, the series is bound to celebrate the holidays in one of the biggest episodes of the season — the fabled SNL Christmas episode. In the promotions leading up until tonight, Wiig and musical guest Dua Lipa — her second appearance on the show after her March 2020 show was cancelled because of the pandemic — are filled in on the mess of a year 2020 has been.
In classic Kate McKinnon fashion, the promos quickly go way over-the-top. You can see them packaged together in the YouTube video above.
The Christmas episode is a staple amongst fans of the live sketch show, 30 Rock tradition for decades. Last year's holiday show featured the return of Eddie Murphy, his first appearance in over three decades. Murphy's return plus the Christmas aspect of it all helped propel the episode to one of the highest-rated stops in recent memory.
After Season 45 ended unceremoniously with a set of episodes produced entirely remote, ratings bounced back during the first half of this season, largely thanks in part to Dave Chappelle's post-election hosting gig. SNL creator Lorne Michaels has also attributed the show's success to the return of a live studio audience within Studio 8H.
"We need the audience, obviously. With comedy, when you don’t hear the response, it’s just different. With the kind of comedy we do, which quite often is broad, timing gets thrown off without an audience," Michaels explained. "And for me, what is most important is when you’re absolutely certain of some piece on Wednesday, and then the dress-rehearsal audience sees it on Saturday and tells you you’re wrong. . . .I think us coming back and accomplishing the show will lead to — I hate to use the word normalcy — but it’s a thing that is part of our lives coming back, in whatever form it ends up coming back. So the physical problems of doing it — number of people who can be in the studio, number of people who can be in the control room, how you separate the band so that they’re not in any jeopardy — all of those are part of the meetings we’ve been having"
Saturday Night Live airs on NBC beginning at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.
Cover photo by Rosalind O'Connor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images