So: Is veteran SNL host Scarlett Johansson going to swing from the chandalee-ah tonight?
Well, probably not. But chances are that we can expect to see Lexi, the Joisey girl Johansson has played every time she’s hosted the show, appear once more—likely beside Fred Armisen, in a “surprise” cameo appearance.
Repeat hosts are common enough on Saturday Night Live. Repeat hosts who are invited back multiple times are a little more rare. But multiple repeat hosts who have recurring characters of their own—think Christopher Walken’s The Continental, Dwayne Johnson’s The Rock Obama, and Justin Timberlake’s “bring it on down to Somethingville” guy—are in a separate class altogether. These are the true SNL hosting elite—and Johansson’s one of them. That’s impressive enough even without considering that Johansson is one of the only women in that top echelon. (Consider: The storied Five-Timers Club, made up of those who have hosted SNL at least five times, has two female members, Drew Barrymore and Candice Bergen. But neither of them has a recurring character like Lexi.)
Tonight marks Johansson’s fourth turn hosting, meaning she’ll have to wait at least another year to win a key to Steve Martin’s clubhouse. I’ve got no doubt that she’ll make it there eventually, though. Johansson’s previous SNL appearances have proven her to be a game, versatile host who manages to keep from falling into the trap SNL sometimes sets for big movie stars who aren’t known for comic roles—namely, giving them a bunch of boring straight-man parts and sketches that revolve around how hot they are. (To SNL‘s credit, this happens both to men and to women; see Chris Hemsworth’s hosting stint earlier this season as an example.)
So we don’t have to worry about whether Johansson will do well tonight. Instead, let’s talk about what sorts of sketches we can expect to see. Though the show has hit on The Avengers already this season, I’d be shocked not to see a bit that revolves around Black Widow; maybe she could stop by as an Update guest to tell us what she thinks about Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans calling her a “slut” and a “whore” during the Avengers press tour. Otherwise, I’m anticipating some sort of royal baby sketch, a Baltimore-focused cold open, some Supreme Court-centered Update jokes, a Mayweather/Pacquiao sketch (dream casting for Mayweather: Leslie Jones), a musical monologue (of course), and, obviously, another Lexi sketch. Not to mention a few blazing sets from Wiz Khalifa, making his SNL debut as the evening’s musical guest.
What about you—what are you hoping to see from Johansson and Khalifa tonight? Despite Johansson’s ability, how many sketches do you think will boil down to “Scarlett Johansson sure is hot”? And finally, do you think we may get any cameos from other Avengers? (Maybe Renner and Evans, apologizing for the whole “slut” thing?) Talk amongst yourselves, and check back in the morning for a full recap.