When host Miles Teller and musical guest Kendrick Lamar take the stage at Studio 8H in New York for Saturday Night Liveopening of season 48 Saturday, Oct. 1, they join a long and star-studded lineage. We took a look back to see who was booked as host and musical guest in the first episodes of each previous season of the show.
These are considered plum bookings: viewers often make an extra effort to check out the first episode of a season. As a result, the producers are going all out to open the season with a strong episode. To SNLthat means booking a warm host and musical guest.
Legendary comedian George Carlin hosted the first episode in Oct. 11, 1975. There were two musical guests that evening, Billy Preston and Janice Ianboth of which had major recent hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
Kanye West has been the musical guest on three season openers, more than anyone else. Keith Richards, John Mayer and The Weeknd also deserves a mention. Richards was the musical guest at a season opener once by himself and once with The rolling stones. Mayer was the musical guest on a season opener once, playing guitar behind another season opener, Frank Ocean. The Weeknd was the musical guest on one season opener once and was a duet partner on another season opener, Ariana Grande.
The stones and Miley Cyrus are the only performers who were 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 of the first episode of each SNL season. Unless otherwise noted, all dates listed were in the same year as the season premiere aired.