Aubrey Plaza Makes ‘SNL’ Debut Alongside Returning Musical Guest Sam Smith

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Image Credit: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

Live from New York, it’s Saturday night! Season 48 of Saturday Night Live premiered on Oct. 1, and show runner Lorne Michaels has yet to disappoint with his choice of show hosts and musical guests. This week, Aubrey Plaza makes her debut alongside returning musical guest Sam Smith!

Sam Smith and Aubrey Plaza are set to appear on this week’s ‘SNL.’ Here, they’re pictured with cast member Kenan Thompson as they film promotional videos. (Rosalind O’Connor/NBC)

To kick off this season, Top Gun: Maverick actor Miles Teller, 35, hosted the Oct. 1 episode with Kendrick Lamar as the musical guest. “It’s really exciting. You’re working with the absolute best of the best, so you feel well taken care of, but it is, it’s a lot. It’s a whirlwind,” Miles told NBC4 ahead of his big debut.

This season of SNL comes after a handful of cast members announced their departures from the show. Cast members Alex MoffatMelissa Villaseñor, and featured player Aristotle Athari exited after Season 47, along with Kate McKinnonAidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, and Pete Davidson. Chris Redd also confirmed to PEOPLE that he was saying goodbye to the show on Sept. 20.

Learn more about the next Season 48 show below.

Aubrey Plaza Makes ‘SNL’ Debut

Saturday Night Live will welcome Aubrey Plaza for the first time on Saturday, Jan. 21. The appearance is hot off her buzzy season of The White Lotus, where she played lawyer Harper who vacations in Sicily with on-screen husband Ethan (Will Sharpe), and their couple friends: Theo James‘ Cameron and Meghann Fahy‘s Daphne. The 38-year-old also earned a  Golden Globe Award nomination.

Aubrey Plaza and Sam Smith are here for the first episode of 2023 THIS SATURDAY!!!

— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) January 19, 2023

Aubrey kept her signature dead pan vibe in a promo alongside Sam and SNL‘s Kenan Thompson that popped up on social media earlier this week. “We love you in The White Lotus,” Kenan said to Aubrey, as Sam chimed in that she was “brilliant in Emily The Criminal.” Kenan then interjected with a show she wasn’t in: “And you were great in Wednesday!” Aubrey quickly corrected him, however, as Kenan drew a comparison to the actress and Jenna Ortega. “Because it seems like…” he trailed off, as Aubrey seemingly agreed the two have a similar vibe. “I know,” Aubrey then said, telling Kenan that she could not do the infamous Wednesday dance!

The Musical Guest For The Episode Is Sam Smith

Sam Smith is returning for the fourth time to SNL. The British born singer, 30, made his debut back in 2014 on a Louis C.K. hosted episode with his breakout hit “Stay With Me” along with “Lay Me Down.” He made a special guest appearance the following year with Disclosure on their song “Omen.” His most recent appearance was in 2017 on a Gal Gadot hosted episode with “Too Good at Goodbyes” and “Pray.”

His music has taken a more upbeat turn with the sexy single “Unholy,” which is a collaboration with Kim Petras. The track hit top 20 around the globe, and also received a nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.

“‘Unholy’ was made in Jamaica and was one of the most glorious creative moments I’ve ever had as an artist,” Sam said of the hyper pop tune. “It was so cathartic and freeing to experiment like this and throw out the rule book. It has also been an honour to work with Kim and get to witness her brilliance. This song is about liberating oneself from the clutches of others’ secrets,” he also said.

What Time Is ‘SNL’ On?

Saturday Night Live airs at 11:35 p.m. PST/EST and 9:30 p.m. MT on local NBC affiliates. The series can also be streamed live on the Peacock app.

Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim and Bowen Yang are all returning for season 48. (Will Heath/NBC)

‘SNL’ Cast Members This Season

Saturday Night Live has a number of new cast members joining the show this season, including Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow, and Devon Walker.

Michael Che and Colin Jost remain in their roles as “Weekend Update” hosts, which they took over in 2014 from Seth Meyers and Cecily Strong. Other returning cast members include Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Bowen Yang, and Heidi Gardner. Rounding out the returning list is Sarah Sherman, Ego Nwodim, Chloe Fineman, Mikey Day, and Punkie Johnson.

Pete Davidson and Colin Jost are seen on ‘Weekend Update’ during Season 46. (Will Heath/NBC)

As mentioned above, Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor, featured player Aristotle Athari, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, and Chris Redd departed the show ahead of Season 48. Many of these cast members announced their exit in May with some not revealing the news until Sept. 1.

Chris announced the news of his exit from SNL on Sept. 20 with a statement to PEOPLE. “Being a part of SNL has been the experience of a lifetime. Five years ago, I walked into 30 Rock knowing that this was an amazing opportunity for growth,” Chris said. “Now, with friends who have become family and memories I will cherish forever, I’m grateful to [creator] Lorne Michaels and to the entire SNL organization. From the bottom of my heart, I can’t thank you all enough.”

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