When SNL alumni return to play host, one of two things tends to happen: The show is either a season highlight that skillfully mixes old and new (see Maya Rudolph or Jimmy Fallon’s shows from last year; seriously, see them), or it’s an unfortunately stagnant walk down memory lane (sorry, Dana Carvey). So which of these fates will befall Martin Short tonight?
If there’s any justice, it’ll be Option #1. Sure, it’s a given that Short will bring back a few of the characters he played during his brief time on SNL in the ’80s – but because he’s such a spry, dynamic performer, it seems unlikely that he’d be content to break out his Jerry Lewis impression and call it a day. I truly think that having Short around will inspire Saturday Night Live’s current team to push themselves. His presence also means that cameos from his famous friends and former cast mates – Billy Crystal? Christopher Guest? Tom Hanks? Steve Martin?! – are as inevitable as Ed Grimley’s cowlick.
It also doesn’t hurt that this is SNL’s last show of 2012 (and, if the Mayans are to be believed, SNL’s last show ever); generally speaking, the cast and writers like to go out with a bang. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned musical guest Paul McCartney yet.
In short (ha!): Get ready for a memorable show. My only real hope is that Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Tracy Morgan, and Chris Kattan return to do another rendition of “I Wish It Was Christmas Today,” the sole Christmas song I legitimately like. Otherwise, I’m content to sit back, relax, and just see what happens. (Well, one more thing: Another appearance by Jon Lovitz as Hanukkah Harry could only be a good thing. After all, Saturday is the holiday’s eighth night!)
Are there any classic holiday sketches you’d like to see trotted out tonight, or any topical subjects (The Hobbit?) that you’re hoping the show will tackle? Which characters should Short bring back, and which ones should stay out of Studio 8H? (Am I the only one who needs a Glick fix?) And which tunes are you hoping to hear when McCartney takes the stage? Sound off before, during, and after the show below, and check back in the morning for a full recap.