Maya Rudolph To Host SNL

Virtually anyone who sticks around Saturday Night Live long enough to make themselves memorable will eventually get the chance to come back and host, and it’s Maya Rudolph’s turn later this month.

The Up All Night star, who has appeared in more episodes of SNL than any other woman in the show’s history, has been announced as host of the February 18 outing, with the indie rock band Sleigh Bells as the musical guest.  Rudolph had a seven-year run as a member of the SNL cast, ending in 2007, but she has made several cameo appearances in recent years, so many in fact that it’s a little surprising to realize she has never hosted before.

When a woman with real comedic skill hosts SNL, it has a tendency to bring out the best in the often underused female cast members, and Rudolph has the advantage of being able to call upon already familiar characters. Also, given that this will be the last new SNL prior to the Academy Awards, we can pretty much count on the show teaming up Rudolph and Kristen Wiig for some sort of Bridesmaids-based sketch (Wiig received an Oscar nomination for that film’s screenplay). If the writing staff isn’t worn down from a third straight week of new shows, it ought to be a strong night.