Tonight marks the final new “SNL” episode in Season 42. And after several news bombshells this week in the world of politics and Trump administration, this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” will definitely have some high notes to go out on.
This week’s host is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who’s also been in the news linked to politics. Johnson recently mentioned possible presidential campaign aspirations for the future, and polls already have him besting Donald Trump in 2020. The Rock will be joined by musical guest Katy Perry.
It’s also notable that this week’s episode will air concurrently across the country — that means it’ll air at 11:30 Eastern time, as usual, and at 8:30 Pacific.
As with the last three new episodes of the season, the last new episode is changing how “SNL” usually airs. Traditionally, the show is live in the Eastern and Central time zones when it starts up at 11:30 p.m. (or 10:30 p.m. Central). But for viewers in the Mountain and Pacific time zones, “SNL” is taped and delayed two to three hours to air at its regular time.
For the last three episodes of the season, though, “SNL” will go live for all four time zones. That means it’ll start at 11:30 p.m. for Eastern viewers, 10:30 p.m. for Central, 9:30 p.m. for Mountain and 8:30 p.m. for Pacific. The show will re-air at its regular 11:30 p.m. time slot for Mountain and Pacific viewers who don’t want to change their schedules.
“SNL” has seen a huge ratings boost this year, thanks largely to sketches about Donald Trump and breakout moments like Melissa McCarthy’s hilarious turns as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. NBC says the idea of changing the air time for the last four episodes is so that “everyone can be in on the joke.”
In the age of social media, it’s true that plenty of viewers might hear about the best “SNL” gags online before they ever see them. For the last four episodes, at least, everyone across the country will have the chance to see the same jokes at the same time.