Saturday Night Live is about to actually live up to its title. The show will be airing the final four episodes of this season live. No pre-recordings, no tapes. It will broadcast live across the country in all time zones, Deadline reports. This is a historic moment for the series, as its cast and crew have never embarked on such a challenge in SNL's 41 years on the air.
So, why now? The decision stems from the spike in popularity of the comedy show, mostly thanks to its highly-praised politically inspired coverage. "SNL — enjoying its most popular season in two decades — is part of the national conversation, and we thought it would be a great idea to broadcast to the west and mountain time zones live at the same time it’s being seen in the east and central time zones,” Robert Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment's Chairman, told Deadline in a statement. "That way, everyone is in on the joke at the same time. Kudos to Lorne Michaels, the producers and cast for making SNL one of the most relevant and anticipated shows in the zeitgeist." Also, no spoilers!
The April 8 episode will be the last pre-recorded one to air, and will feature Louis C.K. as the host and The Chainsmokers as the musical guest. The remaining four episodes will air at their regular time (11:30 p.m. Eastern, 10:30 p.m. Central, and 8:30 p.m. Pacific). The show will also repeat the episode at 11:30 p.m. for those on the West Coast who can't watch during the live broadcast.
While we don't know if anything else will be different about the landmark episodes, we do know who the hosts will be: Jimmy Fallon on April 15, Chris Pine on May 6, Melissa McCarthy on May 13, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson rounding out the season on May 20. Finally, you can get your laughs in real-time. And maybe even a few hilarious character breaks.