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Ariana DeBose to host first ‘Saturday Night Live’ of 2022

Ariana DeBose
(Image credit: Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Saturday Night Live will be returning after its holiday break on Jan. 15 with West Side Story star Ariana DeBose set to make her hosting debut and Roddy Rich tapped as the musical guest.

DeBose is currently starring in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, which she is utterly fantastic in as Anita. DeBose has been recognized with multiple nominations for her performance, including with a Critics Choice Award and Golden Globes nomination for Best Supporting Actress. DeBose is a veteran of Broadway, having appeared in the original ensemble of Hamilton and was nominated for a Tony for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. She has been making a splash on the big and small screen over the last couple of years as well, starring in The Prom on Netflix and the Apple TV Plus series Schmigadoon!, which was actually produced by SNL’s Lorne Michaels.

The other headliner for SNL’s Jan. 15 episode is musical guest Roddy Rich. Rich is a multi-platinum selling artist whose sophomore album Live Life Fast debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

SNL also shared that it will have new episodes on Jan. 22 and Jan. 29, but did not provide any information on who will be hosting or serving as musical guests for those episodes at this time.

The last episode before SNL took its annual holiday break was on Dec. 18 and hosted by Paul Rudd. However, because of an outbreak of COVID, the episode was heavily streamlined, with planned musical guest Charli XCX bowing out and most of the cast being sent home. SNL was able to show a number of skits that had been pre-recorded (including this gem of a skit about a Home Goods commercial shoot with Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant) and did a version of Weekend Update with Tina Fey (who, along with Tom Hanks, was appearing as a guest to welcome Rudd to SNL Five-Timers Club) and Michael Che.

Saturday Night Live airs live on NBC across the country at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT. It is also streamed live on Peacock, which also has all past 46 seasons of the variety sketch show.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.