The list of performers talented and multi-faceted enough to pull off the rare double duty of both hosting and performing as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live is short. Legendary names within the 30 Rock halls like Justin Timberlake and Paul Simon have pulled it off, and in the past few years, everyone from Chance the Rapper to Halsey has tried their hands at it.
That list gets one name longer today, as American pop star Billie Eilish has been announced as the host of the December 11 episode, the penultimate broadcast of 2021. The following week will be hosted by Paul Rudd, who is currently on a promotional tour for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and features musical guest Charli XCX, who will be putting out her fifth studio album CRASH in March of 2022.
Eilish doesn’t have much of an acting resume, but she’s got plenty of cultural cache to throw around. It’s a tricky balancing act to be a host of Saturday Night Live: seasoned actors often falter, while bizarre left-field picks often thrive in the role. If she feels that she’s ready to take on the comedy lead, who are we to judge before we’ve seen her do her thing.
Eilish will be the first double-duty host of the programme since Nick Jonas took on the challenge last season. There’s been a recent trend of getting roughly one double-duty host a year, with the last season without a double duty host being the 43rd season back in 2017.
There are a couple different kinds of host/musical guests at SNL: there are those like Ray Charles and The Rolling Stones, who pop up for a second in a sketch but are mostly just there to perform. There are those like Lily Tomlin, who was more known for her acting than her singing but was eager to show off her multiple skillsets. And then there are those like Frank Zappa, who give away the gambit of reading from cue cards on live TV and piss everyone involved in the production off.
Will Eilish soar with secret comic abilities that weren’t obvious before? Will she fall flat on her face? We’ll all find out together when she hosts the show on December 11th.