"Saturday Night Live" makes its 34th season premiere on Saturday, September 13 featuring two of the biggest names of the summer – Michael Phelps and hip-hop superstar Lil Wayne.
US Olympic swimming phenomenon Michael Phelps will make his acting debut hosting the season premiere hot off his record-shattering performance in Beijing.
The SNL season premiere kicks off four live shows in a row, a rare practice that generated momentum for the show this past spring when the show returned after the WGA Strike-imposed hiatus. All told, seven all-new SNL’s will air on Saturdays prior to the election.
Phelps went a perfect 8-for-8 in Beijing, breaking Mark Spitz's single-Games record for most gold medals won. In addition, Phelps broke another Olympics record, becoming the most decorated Olympian in history, winning a stunning 14 career gold medals. Phelps currently holds seven world records in swimming.
Unprecedented millions tuned in to watch Phelps in action, from the US Swim Team’s explosive victory over the French in the 4x100m freestyle relay, by just .08 of a second; to Phelps’ record-demolishing performance in the 4x200m freestyle relay breaking the record by more than four seconds and his seventh gold medal win, beating Serbia’s Milorad Cavic by the slimmest and most dramatic margin imaginable – one-one-hundredth of a second.
Joining Phelps and also making his SNL debut is hip-hop superstar Lil Wayne.
Not only one of the best rappers of his generation, Lil Wayne is arguably the biggest story in music for 2008. His sixth album “Tha Carter III” sold over 1 million copies in its first week of release, a feat not achieved since 2005’s “The Massacre” by 50 Cent. “Tha Carter III” has blazed up the singles charts as well with three top-five singles in “Lollipop,” “A Milli” and “Got Money.” In addition to the platinum debut numbers for the CD, Wayne is a tireless performer so prolific that in 2007, Vibe magazine ranked and graded songs to which Wayne contributed and the list was 77 songs long. Wayne is a constant presence on the internet, releasing his own mixtapes for free on a regular basis. He has been one of GQ’s “Men of the Year” for 2007 and was named the “Best Rock Star Alive” by Blender magazine (2008). Rolling Stone may have said it best: “The self-proclaimed greatest rapper proves he wasn’t kidding.”
In addition to the revved-up Saturday schedule, “SNL” is ready for primetime with "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday." Three LIVE primetime half-hours beginning October 9 at 9:30pm ET. These primetime special editions will be anchored by the show's signature “Weekend Update.” This marks a return to the NBC Thursday night lineup for “SNL,” which produced similar live "Update"-centered broadcasts in 2001.