Here’s the Host & Musical Guest for Every ‘Saturday Night Live’ Season Premiere

When host Miles Teller and musical guest Kendrick Lamar take the stage at Studio 8H in New York for Saturday Night Live’s Season 48 opener on Saturday, Oct. 1, they’ll join a long and star-studded lineage. We took a look back to see who was booked as host and musical guest on the first episodes of every 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, producers go all out to open the season with a strong episode. For SNL, that means booking a hot host and musical guest.

Legendary comedian George Carlin was host of the first episode on Oct. 11, 1975. There were two musical guests that night, Billy Preston and Janis Ian, both of whom had had big recent hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Steve Martin has hosted four season-openers, more than anyone else. Tom Hanks is in second place, having hosted two season-openers.

Kanye West has been the musical guest on three season-openers, more than anyone else. Keith Richards, John Mayer and The Weeknd also deserve a mention. Richards was musical guest on a season-opener once on his own and once with The Rolling Stones. Mayer was the musical guest on a season opener once and played guitar behind another season opener, Frank Ocean. The Weeknd was the musical guest on a season-opener once and was a duet partner for another season-opener, Ariana Grande.

The Stones and Miley Cyrus are the only performers who were both host and musical guest on a season-opener.

If you’re ready to go back in time, here are the hosts and musical guests on the first episode of every SNL season. Unless otherwise specified, all dates mentioned were in the same year as the year that the season premiere aired.

Paul Grein

Billboard