Why 'SNL' Wasn't New Last Night, March 13

A new Saturday Night Live episode did not air last night, Saturday, March 13. Instead, NBC is [...]

A new Saturday Night Live episode did not air last night, Saturday, March 13. Instead, NBC is re-aired the Jan. 30 episode, with A Quiet Place Part II filmmaker/star John Krasinski hosting and Machine Gun Kelly as the musical guest. There actually won't be a new episode until Saturday, March 27. That installment will feature SNL alum Maya Rudolph as host for the first time since 2012. Rapper Jack Harlow, best known for the hit single "Whats Poppin," is the musical act for the evening.

SNL Season 46 has seen new episodes air in bunches. The season kicked off with a record six consecutive new episodes leading up to the 2020 Presidential Election, ending the streak on Nov. 7. This was the last episode to feature Jim Carrey as President Joe Biden. The show then returned for three more episodes in December. SNL aired five consecutive new episodes between Jan. 30 and Feb. 27 before taking almost all of March off.

Rudolph was a regular castmember from 2000 to 2007 and has returned for cameos countless times since. She hosted for the first time in February 2012. During Season 45, Lorne Michaels brought Rudolph back to play Vice President Kamala Harris, a role she will likely play again in the March 27 episode.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rudolph, 48, said she could see her casting as Harris coming from a mile away. "Yeah, I smelled it coming," she recalled. "And I remember when Tina [Fey] smelled it coming for Sarah Palin. It's funny. It was almost like a red herring early on, when I wasn't on the show anymore and Rachel Dolezal was in the news and everyone was talking about it I was like, 'I'm going to get the call.' It felt like that, but much more rewarding."

Getting Rudolph on SNL during the coronavirus pandemic was not easy, since she lives in Los Angeles with her husband, filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, and their four children. The logistics of traveling across the country back and forth during the pandemic were worth it for Rudolph though. She understood she was the best person to play the former Senator from California.

"I think knowing that there was a candidate that I resembled so much was so cool in and of itself," Rudolph told EW. "And then icing on the cake is just simply getting to do it on the show, a place that I feel so at home in, and that I love. But also it's just the charge of this time and being able to have any sort of voice in the story. I also just felt really lucky that we figured out a way to have fun with her early on and make her a joyful character."

While Rudolph is keeping the role of Harris even after the election, the role of Biden had to be recast since Carrey was only signed on for the first few episodes of the season. Cast member Alex Moffat was enlisted to play the president but has only had a handful of appearances in the part. Saturday Night Live airs at 11:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC.