Published Sep 28, 2018Adam Driver and Kanye West will kick off Saturday Night Live's 44th season tomorrow night (September 29) as the host and musical guest, but the show's writers had a different star in mind for the premiere until recently.
Creator and showrunner Lorne Michaels revealed that Ariana Grande was the top contender to host and perform on the season opener.
"We had Ariana drop out for emotional reasons two days ago," Michaels told the namesake and host of Origins with James Andrew Miller (who also penned Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live). "That's our premiere, and then Kanye stepped up, and he'll be there."
Listen to Michaels' comments on the podcast below at the 52-minute mark.
Grande recently removed herself from the spotlight, to "take some much needed time to heal and mend," after a couple of years that have included traumatic events like the terrorist attack at her show in Manchester last spring, and the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller earlier this month.
She's currently in a high-profile relationship with SNL cast member Pete Davidson, but has also proven her hosting chops on previous episodes of the show — earning particular praise for her impressions of basically everyone and anyone.
Also, you know who probably wouldn't have worn a "Make America Great Again" hat in their SNL promo? Ariana Grande.
Watch West do exactly that in the teaser for tomorrow night's season premiere below.