Saturday Night Live wraps up 2014 with a star-studded line-up


December is here. Christmas is right around the corner, and soon we will bring the curtains down on 2014. But before that, Comedy Central Asia is giving you your Christmas gift a little earlier this year.

By gift, we mean the last three Saturday Night Live (SNL) episodes of 2014 are going to be the bomb! This Christmas, SNL is bringing on the season’s cheer with a star-studded line-up of guests hosts and musical guests. James Franco stars as Guest Host in the Asia premiere of this Saturday’s episode on 13 December at 9pm (TH/WIB), 10pm (HK/PH/SG/TW) and 11pm (MY), followed by Martin Freeman on 20 December and Amy Adams on 27 December. The encore telecast of respective episodes including musical performances will debut weekly on Fridays at 9pm (TH/WIB), 10pm (HK/PH/SG/TW) and 11pm (MY) - Nicki Minaj on 19 December, Charli XCX on 26 December and One Direction on 2 January.

The longest-running late night comedy sketch show in history,  SNL celebrates its 40th anniversary on-air this year. Brand new episodes of SNL Season 40 premiere every Saturday at 9pm (TH/WIB), 10pm (HK/PH/SG/TW) and 11pm (MY) on Comedy Central Asia.

We’re excited for us; we’re excited for you! Let’s unwrap three reasons that will show you why these last three episodes for the year promise to be absolutely must-watch material. 

1. There’s Serious and Seriously Funny Actors…

…And then there are actors who are experts at both! You may know some of their comedic material, but Franco, Freeman and Adams also take the art form very seriously. We won’t go into too much of their comedies because they’re already hosting SNL, guys – the funny bone must be strong in this one. What you need to see is their journey in film to know what acting juggernauts they are…

James Franco started really making a name for himself acting alongside Tobey McGuire in Hollywood as the conflicted Harry Osborn in the Spiderman trilogy. We saw his incredible range in Gus Van Sant’s multi award-winning feature, Milk, of which co-star Sean Penn won the Best Actor Oscar. Two years later, Franco would be nominated for the same award as Aron Ralston in British director, Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours. Franco also has an impressive repertoire as a comedian – from his multiple appearances on SNL to comedies Pineapple Express and This Is the End.

You may know Martin Freeman from the incredibly successful British series – Ricky Gervais’ The Office, which has spawned many winning spinoffs. He was the lead character in cult-favourite, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Of course, the actor has ascended into superstardom since playing Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit film trilogy – a huge task for those hobbit shoulders.

Amy Adams is a household name in several forms of comedy, from romantic comedies to comedy-dramas. She has been topping herself ever since her breakout role in indie flick, Junebug. The lords of film duly noticed, and she landed a role in the star-studded film, Enchanted, which increased her exposure to the world. Adams has never looked back since, with five supporting Oscar nominations for Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master and American Hustle; a role as the iconic Lois Lane in Man of Steel and Spike Jonze’s critically-acclaimed comedy-drama, Her.

All we’re saying is, these guys are a BIG deal, and these episodes would be something of an acting masterclass. Either way, KNOW that you’ll be entertained.

2. James Franco and Amy Adams brought the house down the last time they were on SNL

This will be Franco’s third time hosting SNL, and Adams’ second. When Franco last hosted alongside musical guests Muse, coincidentally a Christmas Special, there was abundance in humour. In A Kissing Christmas, Franco played a character bringing his girlfriend home to meet his family for the holidays – and she soon finds out his family is a little too affectionate. Often associated with James Dean, he reprises this role in the Bill Hader sketch, Vince Prince’s 1956 Christmas Special.

In this Saturday’s episode, Franco and partner in crime Seth Rogen will be making light of the recent hacking on Sony in their SNL appearance. Get ready to feast your eyes on some risqué photos of Franco and Rogen!

Adams made her hosting debut in 2008. Her hilarious monologue ended in a duet with Kristen Wiig, about how they’re lookalikes. The next sketch treaded along a similar path, with Adams and Wiig acting as sisters trying to pass themselves off as one student when they enroll at a new school. She introduced her portrayal of Heidi Klum in the sketch, The Hot Mess Make-Over Show, one filled with priceless catchphrases.

Martin Freeman, on the other hand, will be making his debut on SNL. Need more reasons to catch these episodes?

3. Nicki Minaj, Charli XCX, and One Direction have new material

Having already released the blazing hot single “Anaconda,” Minaj is soon to launch her third studio album, The Pinkprint, on Monday, 15 December, four days before her appearance on the show. You’re getting a sneak-peak of sorts. Aside from this, her Minajesty will also be showing off her celebrity impersonation skills with impressions of Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian during her musical performances.

Charli XCX’s second album Sucker will be released on Tuesday, 16 December, before her SNL appearance.

Pop sensation One Direction made girls swoon in their appearance on SNL last year, and there is little to suggest the same won’t happen this time around. Their fourth studio album, Four, was released just last month.

Remember, their performances on SNL are recorded live – and live is the way to see a musical artistes’ real chops.