Chris Rock set to host 'Saturday Night Live' season premiere

This will be the third time Rock has hosted "SNL," though he's made guest appearances frequently.
/ Source: TODAY

"Saturday Night Live" is set to rock!

Chris Rock, that is!

The 46th season of the classic NBC sketch comedy show is set to kick off Oct. 3 with former cast member Rock attending to hosting duties, the network announced Thursday. The musical guest will be Megan Thee Stallion, best known for her No. 1 hit "Savage."

Chris Rock at "Saturday Night Live's" 40th anniversary special in 2015Chris Haston / NBC

This is Rock's third time in the hosting seat; he first hosted in 1996 and returned in 2014. He makes frequent cameos on the series, however, and was a cast member from 1990-93. He's starring in the new season of "Fargo," which premieres Sept. 27.

The entire "SNL" cast from season 45 is returning, including Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong and Kenan Thompson, and Jim Carrey is set to recur as Joe Biden this season. The sketches will take place before a small studio audience due to COVID-19 quarantine requirements; the last three episodes of season 45 were remotely produced.

Executive producer Lorne Michaels told The New York Times that many changes have been put in place to avoid the spread of the virus. "There’s heat sensors at the revolving doors and then you go for your rapid (COVID) test. You wait 15 minutes and then you're in the building. The Monday night meetings in my office on the 17th floor, which once had 40 people, now has a capacity of three. It's me plus two. In the same way that we tried to figure out the at-home shows, we've had to rethink every part of the show."

Megan Thee Stallion performing in 2019 at the BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta Aaron J. Thornton / Getty Images

He also noted that cast members will wear masks until "the moment the red light goes on, at which point the Velcro back will be taken off."

"We just had to go back," Michaels said. "It's an election year. It's what we do. ... It's difficult, but we’ve done difficult a lot of times. Comedy, when there's a little danger involved, it doesn't necessarily suffer."