With the announcement on Tuesday September 20 that Miles Teller and Kendrick Lamar will be the host and musical guest respectively of Saturday Night LiveIn the season 48 opener on October 1, we decided to take a look back to see who got those plum bookings on the first episodes of every previous season of the show.
Viewers often go the extra mile to watch the first episode of a season. As a result, the producers are pulling out all the stops to open the season with a strong episode. For SNLit means booking a hot host and musical guest.
Legendary comedian George Carlin hosted the first episode on October 11, 1975. There were two musical guests that night, Billy Preston and Janis Ian, both of whom had recent big hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
Steve Martin has hosted four season openers, more than anyone. Tom Hanks ranks second, having hosted two season openers.
Kanye West has been the musical guest for three season openers, more than anyone. Keith Richards, John Mayer and The Weeknd also deserve a mention. Richards was a season-opening musical guest once on his own and once with the Rolling Stones. Mayer was a season opener’s musical guest once and played guitar behind another season opener, Frank Ocean. The Weeknd was a season opener’s musical guest once and was a duet partner for another season opener, Ariana Grande.
The Stones and Miley Cyrus are the only artists to have served as both host and musical guest at a season opener.
If you’re ready to step back in time, here are the hosts and musical guests from the first episode of each SNL season. Unless otherwise noted, all dates mentioned were the same year as the year the season premiere aired.