Credit: NBC
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It pains me to write this, but: Cameron Diaz has had a rough few years, career-wise. For the past half-decade, she’s starred mostly in films that failed critically, commercially, or both. The role call: Sex Tape, The Other Woman, The Counselor, Gambit (which wasn’t even released theatrically in the US), What to Expect When You’re Expecting, The Green Hornet, Knight and Day, and The Box. (A few exceptions: Bad Teacher, which got mixed reviews but grossed over $100 million—enough to inspire both a quickly-canceled CBS sitcom and a sequel, which is still in development—My Sister’s Keeper, which landed more with a “meh” than a thud, and Shrek Forever After, which of course made approximately one bajillion dollars.)

Despite all this, though, Diaz still carries an A-list sheen; hearing that she’s coming back to SNL doesn’t inspire the same trepidation as hearing that, say, her costar in The Mask was returning to the show. Why? Maybe because no matter what’s happened over the past two decades or so, Diaz still seems like the ultimate Cool Girl—both in the Gillian Flynn sense, and also according to a more general definition of the term (a likable woman). Seeing her pop up on screen is sort of like seeing an old friend—even if you can’t really remember the last time you and that friend did something really fun together.

Maybe tonight will be that moment. Diaz and the SNL gang clearly get along famously; though she hasn’t technically hosted the show in 12 years (this is how 2002 that episode was: Diaz’s musical guest was Jimmy Eat World), she’s done five brief, uncredited cameos since her last official appearance in 8H. And while the project she’s here to promote (the remake of Annie) implies at least one groaner to come (yet another musical monologue, though at least the show hasn’t been leaning so hard on them this year), it’ll still be nice to see Diaz have a platform to do what she does best.

She’ll also probably have help from one of tonight’s musical guests: Bruno Mars, whose 2012 SNL hosting debut was surprisingly delightful. Expect to see the singer pull double duty in at least one sketch this week—and cross your fingers that it’s a poignant sequel to “Sad Mouse.” (Mark Ronson will be there as well, presumably also doing stuff.)

What are you hoping to see from Cameron Diaz, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, and Saturday Night Live more generally tonight? How do you think Thanksgiving will fit into the proceedings—or, gulp, Bill Cosby? (Poor Kenan.) Think SNL vet Jamie Foxx might show up to plug Annie along with his costar—or Quvenzhané Wallis? (Or Sandy the dog?!) Discuss below, and check back in the morning for a full recap.


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  • James Lapine