It's that time of year again: Saturday Night Live will be kicking off its thirty-eighth season tonight on NBC. It'll be a big year for the show, considering that the 2012 presidential election is in full swing, giving the series plenty of material for cold opens, Weekend Updates, and a few debate sketches. It's unlikely the series will be able to recapture the magic of Tina Fey's beautiful hijacking of the 2008 presidential election (her impersonation became more famous than Sarah Palin, remember?), but featured player Jay Pharaoh's promotion to the show's resident Obama impersonator is a very good sign.
Of course, the show is going in with some handicaps. The show's resident laugh-getter, Kristen Wiig, departed in last season's finale, while Andy Samberg left the show over the summer, presumably taking his viral-ready Digital Shorts with him. As those were often the funniest part of Saturday Night Live, it's going to be difficult to see how the show fills the gap. In any case, the 38th season will definitely be interesting one for Saturday Night Live.
The season premiere, which airs tonight, will be hosted by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who will likely bring some crude humor with a mean-spirited edge to the table (as he always does). More anticipated (by me at least) is the musical guest, singer Frank Ocean, who has reportedly brought guitarist John Mayer along to perform with him. No word yet on what songs Ocean will be playing, though it's not likely he'll bring out "Thinking Bout You," which he performed last week at the VMAs. Since Mayer appeared on both "Pyramids" and "White" from Ocean's album Channel Orange, either of those could be part of Ocean's two song setlist, though I'm personally hoping for some "Monks" or "Super Rich Kids" (which would mean Earl Sweatshirt would be on the show, too). Speaking of which, isn't it about time that Odd Future got an SNL slot?
In any case, tune in to NBC at 11:30/10:30c tonight to see the episode. It should be, at the very least, interesting.