Idris Elba and John Mulaney Hosting Saturday Night Live

After last weekend’s new episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by first-time host Don Cheadle, the late night sketch comedy series is done with February. But they’ve already got us excited for March, when we’ll get an SNL veteran returning to host for a second time, and another first-time host who hasn’t really stretched his comedic muscles very often.

John Mulaney will return to Studio 8H to host Saturday Night Live, and Idris Elba will follow him.

The official Saturday Night Live Twitter account made the announcement online:

John Mulaney hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time in April of last year. Of course, Mulaney’s history with SNL goes back much further than that. Not only was Mulaney a writer for the late night sketch series, but he also made occasional appearances on the show as himself during Weekend Update, delivering what amounted to little stand-up bits at the desk. His most famous contribution is co-creating the Bill Hader character Stefon, one of the most popular recurring bits from Weekend Update.

When Mulaney hosted last year, he helped elevate a show that was mostly average. That’s mostly because, even though Mulaney is a brilliant comedian, his character range isn’t that wide. That leaves little room for variation in the kind of roles he takes in sketches. But hopefully the writing staff will be up to the task when Mulaney hosts on March 2, especially since that allows them to take a break for a couple weeks.

Idris Elba - Turn Up Charlie

Meanwhile, Idris Elba will be hosting the following week on March 9. It will be the first time he’s hosted Saturday Night Live, and it’s a rare comedic turn for the actor who usually sticks to drama and action. That’s not to say he hasn’t gotten laughs before. After all, he had a guest starring turn for seven episodes on The Office. But even then, his character Charlies Miner wasn’t all that funny. That was intentional, of course, since Miner was meant to be a kind of stick in the mud superior at Dunder-Mifflin, so we’ve yet to really see Elba let his goofy side out.

However, Elba has frequently shown his sense of humor on the publicity circuit as an affable actor. He’s also the star of the upcoming Netflix comedy series Turn Up Charlie, so he must be doing something right on the comedy side (and it’s likely why he’s hosting next month). This will certainly be a test of his comic skills, and we’ll be watching closely to see how it turns out.

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