Now that Lin-Manuel Miranda has taken leave of Hamilton, it’s freed him up to do other things, like finish his work on Disney’s Moana, add music to Donald Trump’s tweets, and accept hosting duties on Saturday Night Live. According to Variety, Miranda will host the October 8 episode – meaning you can surely expect him to freestyle and/or dress up in some period costume. Lin-Manuel used the announcement as an opportunity to reminisce on his favorite SNL memory.
The news comes at a time when SNL seems actively invested in adding more Latinos to its staff. In its four-decade history, SNL has a poor track record of representing Latinos on every level. As an LA Weekly article bluntly put it, “NBC’s beloved Saturday Night Live has a Latino problem.” Between the lack of Latino writers and cast on the show, SNL‘s ended up with some seriously questionable skits, where stars Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon play up Latina stereotypes. And it’s not much better when it comes to who hosts the show. LA Weekly‘s Dennis Romero calculated that Latinos have only hosted 1.5 percent of episodes.
However, in the span of a week, SNL hired featured cast member Melissa Villaseñor and writer Julio Torres. And while this won’t entirely fix the show’s Latino problem, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
As SNL works to do better by us, Lin-Manuel will continue to keep busy with a packed schedule. Just a few weeks after his SNL gig, he’ll host a screening of the original Mary Poppins at the iconic United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights on October 16. He recently presented the theater with a $100,000 donation for a new digital projection system. The movie will play on the new system. The event will serve as a sort of farewell party for Miranda, who’s relocating to London to shoot Mary Poppins Returns. Purchase tickets here.