When Blake Shelton makes his debut as host and performer on NBC’s Saturday Night Live this weekend, he’ll join an elite group of country-music hosts on the long-running sketch comedy series. Since the show’s 1975 debut, only Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift (back when she was a country artist), have pulled double duty as host and guest representing country music. What’s more, the last country act to perform on the show was Lady Antebellum, in October 2011. Naturally, Shelton is aware of the pressure that comes with the hosting gig… and his performance.
“I’m not really nervous,” Blake insists in the promotional clip below, which reveals plenty of his comedic instinct. “I’m a natural at making an ass out of myself. If that’s what this show requires of me, I think I’m gonna nail it.”
The Oklahoma native adds that when he told his family he would be hosting, his mom and sister had some special requests. “[My mom] wanted me to tell Chevy Chase hi, and my sister wanted me to get Dana Carvey’s autograph,” Shelton quips. “So it shows you just how out of touch my family is.” (For the record: Chase has not been an SNL cast member since 1976. Carvey left the show in 1993.)
Although she may be among those watching the live telecast, Shelton says his wife, fellow country superstar Miranda Lambert, won’t be in NBC’s Studio H-8 as the show unfolds. (She has a show in West Virginia Saturday night.) The outspoken Shelton admits his wife is worried about him hosting SNL and can be a bit of a “stage mom.”
“Miranda’s always the one when we’re at parties or something and I’m being funny and I start taking it too far into gross land or whatever, she’s the one that’s always like, ‘Blake! Blake, stop it,” he tells E! News.
No word yet on what current events or hot topics the comedy sketches will cover, but one glance at the singer’s unexpurgated Twitter feed is proof that his handlers have their work cut out for them.
“Last night I had a few drinks and had to go off about a movie I want to see,” Shelton tells E! with his patented mischievous grin. “I like to go on Twitter and have fun, and I make my managers nervous as heck.”
In a series of tweets he posted Monday night (January 19th), Shelton began by noting, “I can’t WAIT to see American Sniper,” the Oscar-nominated film that drew criticism from filmmaker Michael Moore, who tweeted a day earlier that “snipers aren’t heroes,” setting off a firestorm of controversy in the media. Just shortly after his tweet about wanting to see the film, Shelton tweeted: “Sickens me to see celebrities or anybody slam the very people who protect their right to talk shit.” He added the hashtag #truecowards, perhaps referring to Moore’s lengthier Facebook post in which he quoted his father, who served as a Marine in World War II, as saying, “Snipers are cowards. They don’t believe in a fair fight.”
Aside from Shelton, Lady Antebellum and Swift, who has been musical guest twice and host once, SNL‘s most recent musical guests from the country world have been Keith Urban in 2007 and Carrie Underwood in 2007 and 2008.
Saturday Night Live, hosted by Blake Shelton, airs this weekend at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.