Janelle Monáe and Eminem are headed for NBC’s Studio 8H. Yes, The Electric Lady and the “Rap God” have been confirmed as the next two musical guests for Saturday Night Live. Monáe — who may or may not dream of electric sheep after the late-night sketch show wraps — will make her SNL debut on October 26, alongside actor (and first-time host) Edward Norton. A week later, on November 2, Eminem will grace SNL‘s stage for the sixth time, in support of his upcoming eighth album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which is set to drop on November 5. While Em makes his return to the 39-seasons-strong comedy behemoth, Scandal star Kerry Washington will make her hosting debut.
Confirmation that Monáe and Washington will appear on back-to-back episodes comes just days after SNL castmember Kenan Thompson spoke with TV Guide about the program’s lack of diversity. When asked about the fact that SNL has gone six straight seasons without an African-American female castmember, Thompson said there aren’t enough comediennes of color qualified for the job. “It’s just a tough part of the business,” he said. “Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”
We’re not sure about Monáe’s comedy chops (though she is pretty committed to her future-soul persona), but she did recently deliver two stunning TV performances: A desktop dance on the Late Show With David Letterman and a Rockefeller Plaza-conquering guest spot on NBC’s Today. Eminem, on the other hand, is entering his SNL set somewhat less invigorated. The Detroit MC just unleashed “Rap God,” an underwhelming new track from his fast-approaching MMLP2. “How could I not blow?” he asks on the single. “All I drop is F-bombs.” Not on network TV, you don’t.