Kanye West Was Booked On SNL Because Ariana Grande Dropped Out

Tomorrow night, Kanye West will serve as the musical guest on the premiere of Saturday Night Live’s 44th season. He’ll share that spotlight with guest host Adam Driver. West has already built an entire media circus around his appearance on the show. The same day as the episode airs, West claims that he will release his new album Yandhi. He has also used his time in New York to put in an appearance at the FADER offices, where he said a lot of wild shit. West has, in his own way, embraced his role as SNL musical guest like few other people in the show’s history. But Kanye West was not Saturday Night Live’s first choice.

James Andrew Miller, writer of the SNL oral history Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live, hosts a podcast called Origins With James Andrew Miller. In recent weeks, that podcast has devoted itself to the run-up to the beginning of the SNL season. Cast and crew from the show have appeared on the show. And in the latest episode, SNL creator Lorne Michaels says this: “We had Ariana drop out for emotional reasons two days ago. That’s our premiere, and then Kanye stepped up, and he’ll be there.” (You can hear Michaels at the 52:26 mark of the most recent episode.)

Grande is, of course, engaged to SNL cast member Pete Davidson, and she has already served as a great SNL host. But Grande suffered an emotional loss recently, so it makes sense that she stepped away from it. But what I want to know is: Did West record a whole new album just because he knew he was going to be on SNL? Did he knock the whole album together in the last few days? Maybe he was already working on Yandhi. Maybe he planned to appear on SNL later on in the season, and he just moved up the release date to coincide with the show. Whatever the case, it should be a real circus tomorrow night.

In vaguely related news, Pete Davidson was a guest on Late Night With Seth Meyers last night. He claimed that Piggy Smallz, the pig that he and Grande adopted, is getting really big. No shit, buddy.

SNL tomorrow. We might all have to fuck around and watch some live terrestrial TV for once.