12:47pm PT by Lauren Huff
Adam Driver, Kanye West to Appear on 'SNL' Season 44 Premiere
Saturday Night Live's 44th season is almost here, and to kick things off, NBC on Monday announced the first host and musical guest for the show when it debuts Sept. 29.
BlacKkKlansman and Star Wars star Adam Driver will serve as host, and Kanye West has been tapped as the musical guest for the episode. Driver previously hosted the show in January 2016. West has been the musical guest six times before, most recently in February 2016.
West released his latest album, Ye, in June, earning his eighth consecutive No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. The rapper made headlines recently after a stop on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live. One particular moment that made waves online occurred when Kimmel pushed back about West's support of President Donald Trump, citing the ongoing impact of his administration's "zero tolerance" policy at the border and family separations, and the late-night host asked, "You so famously and so powerfully said, 'George Bush doesn't care about black people.' It makes me wonder: What makes you think that Donald Trump does, or any people at all?"
The question left West silent, prompting Kimmel to go to commercial. West later clarified that he was not "stumped" by the question, he just did not have time to answer it.
Ryan Gosling served as the host of SNL's opener last season with musical guest Jay-Z. Season 43 hosts included Gal Gadot, Tiffany Haddish, Natalie Portman, Donald Glover, Tina Fey and more.
The 2017-18 season averaged 9.4 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 after a week of delayed viewing. The 18-49 rating would have tied for second among NBC's non-sports primetime shows.
Saturday Night Live is produced in association with Broadway Video, with creator Lorne Michaels serving as executive producer.