‘Saturday Night Live’ Season 49: Cast, Premiere Date, and More News – Hollywood Life

‘Saturday Night Live’ Season 49: The Premiere Date, First Hosts of the Season & More

'SNL' will be live from New York for season 49 very soon! The legendary series has set its return date and the first hosts.

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Pete Davidson
Image Credit: Peacock

  • SNL will return for season 49.
  • Saturday Night Live season 49 will premiere on October 14.
  • Pete Davidson will host the premiere.

Saturday nights just aren’t Saturday nights without, well, Saturday Night Live. The sketch comedy series has become a cultural touchstone since its premiere in 1975. Creator Lorne Michaels has helmed SNL for nearly all of its historic run, and the show is now inching closer to a milestone season 50.

However, there’s still another season to go. Since SNL season 48 was cut short, everyone’s been wondering about the status of Saturday Night Live season 49. Well, we now have an update! Season 49 will premiere this October.

SNL is always at its strongest during an election year, and season 49 will undoubtedly embrace the 2024 presidential election cycle with epic and hilarious commentary. From the premiere date to the first hosts of the season, here’s a full rundown of all the latest updates about season 49.

Colin Jost
Colin Jost and Michael Che during ‘Weekend Update.’ (NBC)

Is SNL Season 49 Happening?

Saturday Night Live season 49 is a sure thing. The iconic series is a staple for the network, and the show is so close to celebrating 50 years on the air.

SNL season 48 was cut short due to the writers’ strike in May 2023. The final episodes were supposed to be hosted by Kieran Culkin, Jennifer Coolidge, and SNL alum Pete Davidson, but the remainder of the season had to be canceled.

Saturday Night Live Season 49 Premiere Date

Saturday Night Live season 49 will premiere on October 14. With the writers’ strike over, SNL was expected to return on either October 7 or 14, according to Deadline. The show usually premieres in September as part of NBC’s fall lineup, so SNL wasn’t too far off schedule!

Chloe Fineman
Chloe Fineman on ‘SNL.’ (NBC)

NBC already revealed its fall lineup for 2023, and Saturday Night Live wasn’t originally on it. However, the sketch comedy series could easily be added back in. The show’s Saturday night timeslot is usually reserved for reruns when the show isn’t airing live.

Who Is Hosting Saturday Night Live Season 49?

Pete Davidson will host the season 49 premiere. Ice Spice will be the musical guest. The SNL alum was originally supposed to make his hosting debut in May, but the show was forced to go dark due to the writers’ strike. This will mark Pete’s return to SNL after leaving the sketch comedy series in 2022. He joined the cast in 2014.

The following week, Bad Bunny will be the host and musical guest. This will be the Puerto Rican rapper and singer’s first time hosting the iconic show.

Since SAG-AFTRA is still currently on strike (but in negotiations with the AMPTP), the majority of actors will not be allowed to host. Until the SAG strike ends, SNL will have to explore their options with musicians, sports stars, and more as hosts.

Who Is Returning for Saturday Night Live Season 49?

The full cast list for SNL season 49 hasn’t been officially revealed. Over the past few seasons, Saturday Night Live has seen newbies arrive at Studio 8H and beloved veterans depart. On October 4, SNL announced that Chloe Troast had joined the cast.

SNL boss Lorne Michaels dubbed season 48 a “transition year” after the exits of Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffat, Chris Redd, Melissa Villaseñor, and Aristotle Athari.

Bowen Yang
Bowen Yang and Mikey Day on ‘SNL.’ (NBC)

At the end of season 48, the cast included Mikey Day, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Punkie Johnson, Michael Che, Colin Jost, Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, and Bowen Yang. Featured players for season 48 were Marcello Hernandez, James Austin Johnson, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow, Sarah Sherman, and Devon Walker.

Since the SAG-AFTRA strike is still ongoing, some of the cast members could bow out of returning until a new deal is made. James and Sarah, who became breakout stars of season 48, are expected to be promoted to repertory players for season 49. As for any potential new cast members, Lorne has been looking at some people but “hasn’t made any final verdicts.”

Following the departure of SNL vet Cecily Strong during season 48, there’s now an open spot for a new repertory cast member. One of the featured players could be bumped up in season 49. The show could also add new featured players in the upcoming season, especially if any of the season 48 featured players decide to leave. As of now, it’s highly likely Colin and Michael will return to the “Weekend Update” desk.

Please Don't Destroy
The Please Don’t Destroy trio. (NBC)

Comedy group Please Don’t Destroy, consisting of Ben Marshall, John Higgins, and Martin Herlihy, joined the show in season 47 to produce digital shorts. They’ve had viral hits like “Three Sad Virgins” with Taylor Swift and “Road Trip” with Jenna Ortega. The trio’s debut film, The Treasure of Foggy Mountainwill debut on Peacock in 2023. No word yet about whether or not they’ll return for season 49.

Is Saturday Night Live Ending After Season 50?

Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels has been candid about possibly retiring after season 50. “I think I’m committed to doing this show until its 50th anniversary, which is in three years. I’d like to see that through and I have a feeling that’d be a good time to leave,” he said on CBS Mornings in 2021. 

He added, “I won’t want the show ever to be bad. I care too deeply about it. It’s been my life’s work. So I’m gonna do everything I can to see it carry on and carry on well.” When Gayle King asked if there can even be a Saturday Night Live without him, he responded, “Yeah, of course.” She also quizzed him about who could possibly take over for him. “I have a sense of where we’re headed with that,” he said. 

Tina Fey
Tina Fey was a veteran cast member for nearly a decade. (Adela Loconte/Shutterstock)

However, Lorne told The New York Times in 2022 that he had “no plans to retire.” He was still looking ahead to celebrating 50 years of SNL. “The 50th will be a big event. We’ll bring everyone back from all 50 years and hosts and all of that. It will be a very emotional and very strong thing. There won’t be as many plus-ones, I can tell you that much,” he said. 

In July 2023, The New York Post reported that SNL vet Tina Fey was “being courted” to take over as executive producer of SNL when Lorne decides to leave. Lorne and Tina have yet to respond to the report. A spokesperson for NBC told ET Canada that there was “no truth” to the claim about Tina taking over. Tina was a head writer and cast member of SNL from 1997 to 2006.

Kenan Thompson is the show’s longest-running cast member. He joined the show in 2003 and has become the leader among the cast members. When asked about ending SNL at season 50, Kenan told Charlamagne tha God, “There could be a lot of validity to that rumor because 50 is a good number to stop at. That’s an incredible package.”

Kenan Thompson
Kenan Thompson on ‘SNL.’ (NBC)

The comedian also hinted that he was unsure the show could survive without Lorne. “He’s the one that’s had his touch on the whole thing,” Kenan continued. “It opens the opportunity for a lot of bulls**t to come into the game because he’s such a legend that he keeps off those corporate wolves.”