Is There a New 'SNL' Episode Airing This Week on May 22?

Here’s what you need to know about what’s happening this week with “Saturday Night Live”


“SNL” is now nearing the end of its 46th season. The most recent new episode, which aired on April 10, was hosted by “A Promising Young Woman” star Carey Mulligan, with Kid Cudi as the musical guest. It featured a cold open sketch about a local news broadcast discussing the Derek Chauvin trial, in which cast members Kenan Thompson and Ego Nwodim try to convince their white colleagues not to be so optimistic about how the trial will go.

There hasn’t been much in the way of celebrity cameos in the new year, and, for now, cast member Alex Moffat will continue to play Joe Biden. He played the role for a second time on April 3 in a sketch that also saw Martin Short make a surprise appearance as Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff.

The reception for Moffat’s Biden was not exactly enthusiastic, so it’s not hugely surprising that they haven’t used it much. It’s likely that “SNL” will just skip any further Biden sketches until they can grab a big celebrity for the role next season.

This week we’ve got a new episode. The May 22 episode will be hosted by Anya Taylor-Joy, with Lil Nas X as the musical guest. It’s the first time either of them will be on “SNL,” though cast member Chris Redd did play Lil Nas X in a cold open sketch last month — it feels like a good bet we’ll see the rapper pop up somewhere in the episode beyond just his musical performances.

This is the end of the road for season 46 of “SNL.” This week’s episode is the season finale.

While it’s not an election year anymore, somehow the tense political situation in the U.S. managed to ramp up from the fever pitch early in 2021. And, well, it’s tough to pass up having Aidy Bryant play Ted Cruz as often as possible, which the show keeps doing.

While the sketch show has certainly had a whiff of “just trying to return to normalcy” in the new year, politics remains at the core of the cultural discourse. And that Matt Gaetz story isn’t going away.

Perhaps the biggest splash of season 46 was the addition of Jim Carrey as the show’s resident celebrity Joe Biden during the election cycle. But Carrey dropped out of the role after Trump lost, and “SNL” has now twice had Moffat play the part. Moffat’s Biden has been met with a pretty tepid response both from the studio audience and viewers at home, but that’s to be expected after only big stars have played Biden on SNL for years.

It’s been a strange transition out of the Trump era for “SNL,” which has adopted a softer tone the last couple months. For example, the show has done three separate COVID-19 game show sketches in 2021, two of which were cold open sketches. And Moffat’s Biden has only made a single appearance since the real Biden was inaugurated in January.

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