The Schmooze

Paul Simon, Awkwafina, And Kanye To Host Saturday Night Live

Paul Simon, modern Jewish prophet, gave his final live concert last Saturday night, in Corona, Queens, just minutes from his childhood home. “Strange times, aren’t they?” the 76-year-old said, staring up at the purple sky as an airplane few low, en route to La Guardia. He looked out at the crowds.

“Don’t give up,” he said.

Simon is one of a handful of artists whose names have been released as front liners for the first three episodes of Saturday Night Live season 44. Adam Driver, Awkwafina, and Seth Meyers will host the first three episodes, with Kanye West, Travis Scott, and Paul Simon, respectively, as musical guests.

Now lets break this eclectic group down:

Adam Driver, once Lena Dunham’s lover on “Girls” has launched a striking dramatic acting career, moving from smoldering villain in the new “Star Wars” movies to smoldering secret Jew in “BlacKkKlansman.” He is not actually Jewish. He is actually always smoldering.

Awkwafina is the rapper, entertainer, and comic actress who has began popping up delightfully in major blockbusters like “Oceans Eleven” and “Crazy Rich Asians.”

Seth Meyers has an almost Rachel Brosnahan-like Jewish confusability, but insists that he is not personally Jewish (he has Jewish heritage.) Nevertheless, he is the magnificently genial, occasionally smart-tongued host of “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” and came of age as head writer and weekend update host at SNL.

Kanye West is a world famous rapper who might be more famous, still, for his antics. He is married to Kim Kardashian West, and he strangely suggested that the controversial admitted-serial sexual harasser Louis CK host his show instead.

Travis Scott is a rapper and producer who is famously married to Kylie Jenner. It is tough to say to what percentage he is wanted on SNL for his rapping, and for what percentage he is wanted for his Kyle knowledge.

And finally! — Paul Simon, the only living boy in New York and the only full-fledged Jew on this list, will appear on SNL in his ninth time as musical guest. He has also hosted four times, and famously played on the show’s first broadcast after 9/11.

We’ve been saying hello to our old friend, darkness, a lot lately. We’ll be glad to say hi to Paul instead. We need the reminder: don’t give up.

Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

This story "Paul Simon, Kanye, Akwafina And More Will Host SNL" was written by Jenny Singer.

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