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'Saturday Night Live': MacFarlane, Gordon-Levitt and Craig First Three Guests Hosts

The sketch comedy series returns for its 38th season with a series of high-profile names.

Seth MacFarlane
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Seth MacFarlane will serve as Saturday Night Live's first guest host of the 2012-13 season. Presumably, he'll show up in the flesh.

American audiences will get a rare glimpse at a live performance by TV's adult animation king and the man behind this summer's foul-mouthed computer animated Teddy Ruxpin rival Ted, as he kicks off the 38th season of the late night comedy institution on Sept. 15. Yet it shouldn't surprise if there are a few more cartoon segments than normal; after all, he is promoting the new seasons of his three Fox hits, Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show, as well as the DVD/Blu Ray release of the box office-busting Ted.

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While MacFarlane could also serve as a musical guest -- he has an album of classic standards -- the show instead opted to sign up Frank Ocean, one of the summer's breakout artists.

The next week, Sept. 22, will see the ultrabusy Joseph Gordon-Levitt return to New York, his college town and the setting of his most recent flick, Premium Rush. And while there may be some allusions to that bike messenger film, he'll likely be working to promote his upcoming sci-fi jaunt, Looper, which comes out the following week. Could Bruce Willis show up as a special guest?

In a move to make this the episode that drives twenty-something girls crazy, British folk rockers Mumford & Sons will serve as the musical act.

The third week will then feature the sly comedic stylings of Daniel Craig, who was most recently seen hanging out with the Queen of England and her corgis (and then jumping out of a helicopter) during the Olympics Opening Ceremony. His third James Bond film, Skyfall, will be released just over a month later, on November 9.

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Providing the musical stylings that evening will be fellow Brits, Muse.

This will be an important three weeks for SNL, which debuts a new look cast that will be missing major departing stars Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg and perhaps Jason Sudeikis. It was just announced that Abby Elliot will also not be returning to the show.