Pity the poor people of Studio 8H. SNL‘s normal schedule is crazy enough; throw in a special primetime edition of Weekend Update, and you’ve got a passel of performers (and writers, and crew members) who must be feeling pretty exhausted right about now. At least this week’s main show will be hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, an actor whose boundless energy makes a Jack Russell terrier look subdued. Traditionally, liking anything too much is a hallmark of geekery, but JGL’s sincere enthusiasm for performing is part of what makes him cool — if you’re into the whole hipster multihyphenate thing.
Though he wasn’t quite a household name the last time he hosted Saturday Night Live, Gordon-Levitt was riding high on goodwill for indie crossover hit (500) Days of Summer. Thanks to his subsequent roles in Inception, 50/50, The Dark Knight Rises, and next week’s Looper, the former child actor can now be classified as a bona fide movie star. Will increased fame affect Gordon-Levitt’s SNL persona? Probably not. The promos he shot with Jason Sudeikis this week indicate that JGL may have become a little more mellow in the past three years — but I’d be surprised if he got through tonight’s show without any exuberant dancing and mugging. A Batman/Robin Dark Knight parody seems likely as well. If we’re lucky, JGL might even pull out his surprisingly great Jason Mraz impression. (Who knew a Jason Mraz impression could be anything approaching awesome?) I’m also still holding out for a 10 Things I Hate About You sketch.
English folk-rock band Mumford & Sons seems like a good match for Gordon-Levitt. Like the actor, they appeal to both high-minded and more mainstream audiences. Marcus Mumford’s instrumental polyglotism is also the musical equivalent of JGL’s many talents; Mumford sings and plays the guitar, drums, mandolin, and banjo, among others, while Gordon-Levitt acts, directs, writes, and runs his own collaborative production company. Backstage, they can share tales of learning to go without sleep.
What sketches are you hoping to see tonight? Think we might get a glimpse of Mumford’s new-ish wife Carey Mulligan beaming at him from the audience? And what sort of political humor can we expect, given that the whole “47 percent” thing was pretty much bled dry on Weekend Update Thursday? Write your thoughts below — and check back tomorrow for a full recap of JGL’s triumphant SNL return.