It’s been one of the more widely anticipated guest-hosting stints in recent memory: Kerry Washington, star of ABC’s red-hot “Scandal,” coming in to New York to host “Saturday Night Live” this weekend for her first time.
Much has been made of Washington’s guest-hosting gig, primarily on racial grounds, with her appearance on the show reviving a debate that arises from time to time over the ethnic makeup of the “SNL” cast.
There have been too few African-American women — or women of any color other than white — say detractors, who were moved to raise the topic again recently when “SNL” named six new cast members, all of whom were white (and only one female).
In all the discussions that have erupted since it was announced a few weeks ago that Washington would guest-host the show, the actress herself has not been asked about the issue — at least not that we’ve seen.
For example, she made a stop at “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” this week (a customary appearance for all “SNL” guest-hosts), but Fallon never brought up the subject of “SNL” diversity.
Our own take on that was that it would have made for a much more interesting interview than the one Fallon conducted. In fact, their conversation barely qualified as an “interview” at all, since it consisted mainly of Fallon fawning all over Washington and gushing about her and her ABC series. He didn’t even ask her about her pregnancy — the news of which broke just this week.
We did learn from the Fallon interview that “Scandal” showrunner Shonda Rhimes agreed to suspend and rearrange Washington’s shooting schedule this week on the ABC show, which is filmed in California, so Washington could come to New York for a week.
Now that this “SNL” show — with musical guest Eminem — is only a few hours away, the main concern for anyone planning to invest 90 minutes of their time in watching it is whether Washington will rise to the occasion comedically or emerge a dud.
The show starts at 11:30 p.m./10:30c on NBC.