Saturday Night Live Returns With West Side Story's Ariana DeBose Set To Host

The show must go on. Just 28 days after airing its Omicron-impacted mid-season finale, "Saturday Night Live" is set to return with the first new episode of the year. The news was posted on the long-running live show's official Twitter page, along with an announcement about the host and musical guest.

The first half of "Saturday Night Live" season 47 has featured some inspired choices for hosts, including first-timers like Simu Liu, Jonathan Majors, and Billie Eilish. The upcoming episode, which will air on January 15, introduces another new face to studio 8H: Ariana DeBose.

Here's Where You've Seen DeBose

Though her timing on "Saturday Night Live" aligns with her appearance in Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story," DeBose is best known as a stage actress. The actress has appeared in plays including "Bring It On: The Musical," the original run of "Hamilton," and "Donna Summer: The Donna Summer Musical," the latter of which garnered her a Tony nomination.

DeBose had a breakout role in last year's Apple TV+ musical series "Schmigadoon!" which is executive produced by "Saturday Night Live" head honcho Lorne Michaels. It's safe to say DeBose earned this hosting spot on her own merits, though, as she took on the tough role of Anita (originally embodied by Rita Moreno) in Spielberg's stunning take on "West Side Story." DeBose has already earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance, and is in the Oscar conversation, too.

The last "Saturday Night Live" episode before hiatus was one of the show's most memorable, if not entirely in a good way. Omicron put a strain on the cast and crew, and the show was reshuffled just before it went to air. The result was an episode that relied mostly on pre-recorded bits and reruns of old sketches, and only featured two cast members in addition to host Paul Rudd and guest stars Tina Fey and Tom Hanks. The result was a uniquely stitched-together episode that made the most of an unprecedented situation, but it's also not the type of thing "Saturday Night Live" fans want to get used to seeing.

"Saturday Night Live" presented its latest hosting announcement as business as usual, with no additional comments about what to expect from the show. The episode's musical guest will be rapper Roddy Ricch. With a multi-talented host like Ariana DeBose taking to the stage, let's hope for a music-packed, sensational comeback for the longest-running variety show in America.

"Saturday Night Live" will air on NBC at on January 15, 2022.