We could all use a little more Edward Norton in our lives.
Though the Fight Club star has had a few particularly zeitgeisty moments (see 1996, which brought us Norton’s Primal Fear/Larry Flynt/Everyone Says I Love You trifecta, or 2002, when he had big roles in four movies… one of which, granted, was Death to Smoochy), he generally keeps a pretty low profile by appearing in just a few carefully chosen films each year. This, plus Norton’s closely guarded personal life, mean that he’s sort of impossible to get sick of — and makes his first time hosting SNL something really worth looking forward to.
Since starring in both The Incredible Hulk and Pride and Glory in 2008, Norton has headlined only one widely distributed, big-budget studio project — last year’s The Bourne Legacy. Otherwise, he’s spent the last five years doing one of two things: making smaller indie movies and filming a series of comedic cameos for the likes of Modern Family, The Invention of Lying, The Dictator, and The Simpsons. So while he won fame as a dramatic actor, Norton’s clearly a funny guy — and if his occasional broad turns are any indication, he’ll fit in perfectly with SNL‘s comic sensibility. See also: This Lonely Island music video from last spring, in which Norton happily weds blushing groom Jorma Taccone.
Another reason to be excited tonight: SNL will also welcome the wonderful Janelle Monae, who really knows how to put on a show when she’s singing live. Sure, The Electric Lady isn’t quite as, well, electric as The ArchAndroid, but Monae’s going to bring it nonetheless — maybe she’ll even rival this season’s previous musical guests Katy Perry and Arcade Fire for pure visual spectacle.
Other things to expect on this week’s show: Kimye’s engagement should give both Nasim Pedrad and Jay Pharoah a chance to shine in at least one sketch. It’s Halloween weekend, so feel free to cross your fingers for a Bill Hader cameo; the show could use a Vincent Price special or Merryville Brothers revival. And at some point, Norton will probably sing; at least, that’s what he did the last time he cameoed on SNL, when his then-girlfriend Salma Hayek hosted the show in 2003. (Now they’re both married to other people; how young we all were back then!)
What are you hoping to see on SNL tonight? Talk amongst yourselves, and check back in the morning for a full recap.