After months of keeping the return date of Saturday Night Live under wraps, the show’s official Instagram dropped a series of hints leading up to the big reveal of when the iconic late-night comedy sketch show will return for its 44th season.
According to the post, the series will air its premiere episode on September 29.
This caps off a week of speculation after a series of posts on Instagram where fans were asked which musical guests and hosts they would like to see this season.
Saturday Night Live’s co-head writers and “Weekend Update” hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che will host the 70th Annual Emmy Awards on Monday, September 17.
Fans were wondering if the series would begin later than usual due to the prep work that Che and Jost had to do to helm the awards show, which is being executive produced by Saturday Night Live EP Lorne Michaels. The comments section of the announcement post shows their surprise at the show’s earlier-than-expected return.
In a statement regarding the duo’s hosting duties, Hayma Washington, chairman and CEO of the Television Academy noted, “We are elated that Colin Jost and Michael Che will bring their hilarious collective talents to hosting this year’s Emmy Awards. They have an amazing onscreen rapport and we are delighted to begin working with them along with the entire NBC team.”
In a joint statement as published by People Magazine, Che and Jost said they are “proud to be the first duo hosting the Emmys since Jenna Elfman and David Hyde Pierce and somehow that’s a real fact.”
The 43rd season of SNL was one of its most dynamic in recent years. There was little shake-up in the cast and the addition of members Heidi Gardner, Luke Null (who will not be returning for Season 44), and Chris Redd rounded out the cast that includes Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Colin Jost, Mickey Day, Heidi Gardner, Alex Moffatt, Melissa Villasenor, Kyle Mooney, Cecily Strong, and Kate McKinnon.
During Season 43, guest-star Alec Baldwin reprised his role as President Donald Trump and Kennan Thompson surpassed comedian and former SNL star Darrell Hammond’s record as the longest-tenured cast member in the show’s history, with 15 seasons compared to Hammond’s 14 in Season 43.
Season 44 will mark Thompson’s 16th on the series. It has not been confirmed if Baldwin will return as Trump for the show’s newest effort.
In 2017, Che and Jost were named co-head writers of the sketch show, making Che the first African-American head writer of the series. Jost was previously the head writer for three years from 2012 to 2015 before leaving his post and focusing solely on his duties as the anchor of “Weekend Update.”
Jost and Che will host the 2018 Emmy Awards, which will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sept. 17 from 8-11 p.m. ET on NBC.
SNL will return with an all-new season September 29 on NBC.