On James Andrew Miller's podcast Origins, Lorne Michaels revealed that Ariana Grande dropped out of being the musical guest on Saturday Night Live's 44th season premiere this weekend, with Kanye West stepping in to be her replacement. Had she performed as planned, it's likely the show would have had to acknowledge the relationship in some way...right?
"We had Ariana drop out for emotional reasons two days ago," Michaels said. "That’s our premiere, and then Kanye West stepped up, and he’ll be there. So, the reach of the show and the number of people who will step forward is now somehow now, I think, probably at its peak."
Think of what we could have had.
UPDATE: This story was originally published on September 27.
Saturday Night Live left us for the summer, and it turned out to be possibly one of the most Saturday Night Live-worthy summers ever. Brett Kavanaugh was nominated for the Supreme Court. The A Star Is Born trailer dropped. Zendaya was Meechee. But perhaps nothing dominated the news cycle more than SNL's very own Pete Davidson. Following the 43rd season finale, news broke that Davidson was dating pop star Ariana Grande, which snowballed into an engagement. Now, there's also a pig. Their relationship is so iconic that it's rife with sketch-worthy material — or a the very least a nod on Weekend Update.
This Saturday, the variety show returns with Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West, and many new Grande fans will be tuning in to see her husband-to-be. Will Saturday Night Live give the people what they want and acknowledge the engagement? Will Grande become a regular on the show? Let's break down the hypothetical options:
1. Pete Davidson does a set about it on Weekend Update.
Davidson is less known for his characters and more so for his witty commentary when he's pulled onto Weekend Update. He's spoken about personal topics before, such as his mental health, so it's possible he'll have some honest and funny things to say about becoming the paparazzi's new obsession. I mean, he did already post about it on Instagram.
2. Grande appears in the opening monologue.
In my biggest fantasy, there's a whole opening number about what we've missed these past few months. Of course, Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon will begin with some verses of their own, but then — surprise! — here comes Grande to sing about getting engaged to Davidson.
3. There's some snide joke about dating a celebrity, making Davidson and Colin Jost (boyfriend of Scarlett Johansson) blush.
SNL has participated in an in-joke or two in its day, and it seems just cruel enough to put Davidson and Jost in a sketch that then calls out their celebrity girlfriend status. They'll break — just slightly — and shake their heads in embarrassment. Then, we move on.
4. They say nothing.
What! Why would they do that? Unfortunately, this seems like the most likely scenario. Although many will be tuning in specifically because of this relationship, the show might deny us any kind of acknowledgment to respect the couple's privacy. Instead, let's hold out hope for the long game — one day, Grande might just be a 30 Rock staple. What's better than one surprise appearance by Grande? Unlimited surprise appearances by Grande.