Chris Rock is returning to Studio 8H at Rockefeller Center on Saturday, Oct. 3 to host the first episode of Saturday Night Live Season 46. Rapper Megan Thee Stallion, best known for her hit "Savage" and her contribution to Cardi B's single "WAP," will be the musical performer. The episode will be filmed at the studio, marking the first new episode filmed there since March.
Rock was a SNL cast member from 1990 to 1993, and has since made several cameos on the show. He also hosted the Nov. 2, 1996 and Nov. 1, 2014 episodes. He last appeared on the show when he made a cameo during Eddie Murphy's Dec. 21, 2019 episode. Rock's appearance on the show this time will air just after Fargo Season 4 will debut on Sept. 27 on FX. The comedian plays the head of a crime syndicate in the Jim Crow South.
The Oct. 3 episode will likely feature plenty of other stars, as NBC already announced Jim Carrey will star as former Vice President Joe Biden. Maya Rudolph will return to play California Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate. Over the weekend, Rudolph won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for playing Harris in Murphy's episode. Alec Baldwin will play President Donald Trump again, as he has done for more than four years. Woody Harrelson played Biden multiple times last season, and Jason Sudeikis has played Biden in the past as well.
The last three episodes of Season 45 were special SNL at Home episodes, where the cast members filmed sketches from their homes. The last time SNL filmed in New York was the March 7 episode featuring Daniel Craig. SNL will have a "limited" in-studio audience for its October episodes, and the team will "work closely" with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ensure everyone's safety. SNL will air five consecutive new, live episodes on Oct. 3, Oct. 10, Oct. 17, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31, each beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET.
SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels also added three new comedians to the cast, Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson, and Andrew Dismukes. Holt is a veteran of the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles and Johnson starred on Adam Ruins Everything and Space Force. Dismukes previously worked on the show as a writer. Ego Nwodim was also promoted to the main cast.