Flashback of Joe Montana hosting SNL ahead of Season 48 premiere

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Flashback of Joe Montana hosting SNL ahead of Season 48 premiere originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

It’s hard to imagine Saturday Night Live without some of the legendary cast members who said goodbye at the end of the 47th season, including famed Pete Davidson. But one thing that won’t change is the fact that this season, like the past 47 seasons, will feature the best of the best when it comes to hosts and musical guests.

The hit late-night comedy show is, and always has been, one of the most beloved performances on TV, and that’s mostly due to the show’s niche and unique look which includes a new guest and musical performer for each episode.

From actors like Paul Rudd and Natalie Portman to entertainers like Billie Eilish and Lizzo, the spectrum of creativity stretches beyond comparison. Sometimes even a brave athlete will take to the starry stage to take on the vanguard of 2-hour comedy expose.

Let’s take a look at the brave athletes who stood front and center to host SNL, as well as what this season looks like when it comes to casting:

Which athletes hosted Saturday Night Live?

There have been a total of 32 athletes who fearlessly recited an SNL monologue and performed in a variety of sketches on the Studio 8H stage, the most recent being professional football player JJ Watt in February 2020.

Here is the full list of athletes who have hosted Saturday Night Live:

1. Fran Tarkenton

Hosted: January 29, 1977

Occupation: Former football quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings

2. OJ Simpson

Hosted: February 25, 1978

Occupation: Former soccer ball carrier for the San Francisco 49ers

Hosted: November 3, 1979

Occupation: Former basketball center of the Boston Celtics

Hosted: January 30, 1982

Profession: Former footballer, coach, sports commentator

5. Bob Uecker

Hosted: October 13, 1984

Occupation: Former baseball player, current Milwaukee Brewers announcer

6. Alex Karras

Hosted: February 2, 1985

Occupation: Former Detroit Lions defensive tackle

7. Mr. T and Hulk Hogan (co-hosts)

Hosted: March 30, 1985

Profession: former professional wrestlers

8. Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Hosted: May 17, 1986 (co-hosted with journalist Jimmy Breslin)

Occupation: Former boxer

9. Billy Martin

Hosted: May 24, 1986 (co-hosted with actress Anjelica Huston)

Occupation: Elder New York Yankees administrator

Hosted: January 24, 1987

Occupation: Former footballer San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears respectively

11. Carl Weathers

Hosted: January 30, 1988

Occupation: Former professional football player, signed with the Oakland Raiders

Hosted: May 13, 1989

Occupation: Former professional hockey player for the New York Rangers

Hosted: November 11, 1989

Occupation: Former professional tennis player

*first female athlete to host SNL

Hosted: September 28, 1991

Profession: Former professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards

Hosted: September 25, 1993 (hosted four times)

Profession: Former professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ersPhoenix Suns and Houston Rockets

16. Nancy Kerrigan

Hosted: March 12, 1994

Occupation: American Olympic figure skater

17. George Foreman

Hosted: December 17, 1994

Occupation: Former professional boxer

Hosted: February 18, 1995

Occupation: Former professional football player for the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys and 49ers

Hosted: March 18, 2000 (hosted five times)

Occupation: Former professional wrestler

Hosted: December 1, 2001

Occupation: Former professional baseball player for the New York Yankees

21. Jonny Mosley

Hosted: March 2, 2002

Occupation: Olympic freestyle skier

22. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Hosted: April 13, 2002

Occupation: Former professional wrestler

23.Jeff Gordon

Hosted: January 11, 2003

Occupation: Former professional NASCAR racer

24. Andy Roddick

Hosted: November 8, 2003

Profession: Former professional tennis champion

Hosted: April 16, 2005

Occupation: Tampa Bay Buccaneers professional football quarterback

26. Lance Armstrong

Hosted: October 29, 2005

Profession: Former professional cyclist

Hosted: March 24, 2007

Occupation: Former Denver Broncos professional quarterback

Hosted: September 29, 2007

Occupation: Professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers

Hosted: September 13, 2008

Occupation: Olympic swimmer

30. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Hosted: March 7, 2009

Occupation: Former professional wrestler

31.Charles Barkley

Hosted: January 9, 2010

Profession: Former professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers

32.Charles Barkley

Hosted: January 7, 2012

Profession: Former professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers

Hosted: May 5, 2012

Occupation: Former professional football player for the New York Giants

34. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Hosted: March 28, 2015

Occupation: Former professional wrestler

35. Ronda Rousey

Hosted: January 23, 2016

Occupation: professional wrestler

Hosted: December 10, 2016

Occupation: Former professional wrestler

37. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Hosted: May 20, 2017

Occupation: Former professional wrestler

38.Charles Barkley

Hosted: March 3, 2018

Profession: Former professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers

Hosted: February 1, 2020

Occupation: Professional football defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals

When is SNL back?

Saturday Night Live airs live on NBC at 11:29 p.m. ET beginning Saturday, October 1 for its 48th season.

Who will be the first host of SNL’s 48th season?

Star of “Top Gun: Maverick” Miles Teller will host the first episode of the 48th season of Saturday Night Live.

This will be the 35-year-old actor’s debut as the show’s host.

Who will be the first musical guest of the 48th season of SNL?

Critically acclaimed rapper and four-time Grammy winner Kendrick Lamar will be the musical guest on the first episode of SNL’s 48th season.

This will be Lamar’s fifth performance on the late night sketch show, having previously appeared in 2013, twice in 2014 and 2018.

Why did the cast members leave after the 47th season?

Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels told the New York Times that season 48 will be “a year of reinvention”.

He claims the exodus of so many cherished cast members parallels the pandemic, which set the tone for a situation “where nobody could really leave, because there were no jobs”.

The cast team over the many months was crippled by the pandemic and it “got to a point where we had a lot of people, and people didn’t have enough playing time,” Michaels said.

But don’t worry, the 77-year-old mind behind SNL assures all fans of the iconic sketch series that he has no plans to retire.

Which cast members left after the 47th season?

The first blow to the SNL group came at the end of last season when members including Kate McKinnon and Pete Davidson announced they would no longer be playing their cast roles.

The full list of cast members that existed include: Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney.

In early September, SNL fans heard about three other highly regarded cast members who decided to will not come back to the stage of the long-running sketch show. These actors include Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and Aristotle Athari.

Who are the new cast members joining this season?

The show announced that four new members will join the Saturday Night Live crew this season, including Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker.

Hernandez is a Cuban/Dominican comedian, writer and actor who made a name for himself by opening comedians like Jim Breuer and Gilbert Gottfried. He has been doing stand up since the age of 18, since 2016.

Kearney is an American actor and comedian who recently starred in the 2022 Amazon Prime series “A League of Their Own”. They are Saturday Night Live’s first non-binary cast member, identifying with them/them pronouns.

longfellow is a stand-up comedian from Phoenix, Arizona who visits festivals and comedy clubs around the world to perform his shows. He participated in a reality show called “Bring the Funny” and was featured as one of the eight comedians chosen for the Netflix special “Introducing…” hosted by Mo Amer.

Walker has been on SNL’s radar since 2017 when it was included in Comedy Central’s “Up Next” showcase in 2017. Since then, it has been featured at a myriad of comedy festivals like Clusterfest, Moontower Comedy Festival and the Big Sky Comedy Festival.

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