'SNL' Host Glover Goes From 'Atlanta' to 'Live From New York' - NBC4 Washington

'SNL' Host Glover Goes From 'Atlanta' to 'Live From New York'

The creative powerhouse hosts “Saturday Night Live” this weekend before hitting the big screen in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

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    Donald Glover, star of "Atlanta," hosts "Saturday Night Live" this weekend.

    Donald Glover, in a recent interview with The New Yorker, addressed reports that Chevy Chase directed “racial cracks” at him when they co-starred in "Community."

    Glover, who introduced an invisible car in "Atlanta," took the high road: “I just saw Chevy as fighting time – a true artist has to be O.K. with his reign being over."

    This weekend, Glover hosts "Saturday Night Live" – ascending to the stage that made Chase a star in 1975 at age 32.

    Glover arrives to “SNL” at age 34, more than a decade into his TV career, with “Atlanta” set soon to cap its triumphant second season and less than three weeks away from his biggest role yet: as the young Lando Calrissian in "Solo: A Star Wars Story."  In addition to hosting "SNL," Glover will take on musical guest duties as his rapper alter ego, Childish Gambino.

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    Donald Glover's reign is only just beginning.

    His "SNL" ties extend to 2006 when Tina Fey hired him as a writer for "30 Rock,” her sitcom loosely based on life behind the scenes at the NBC late night comedy stalwart. Glover later joined the network’s "Community" as high school athlete-turned-community-college-geek Troy.

    He carried touches of "Community"-like dips into the surreal to FX’s "Atlanta," an evolving, tone-shifting mix of comedy, drama and the unexpected. The premise – he plays Earn, a Princeton dropout, young dad and beleaguered manager to his cousin, an emerging rapper – occasionally detoured in Season 1 to the fanciful (the aforementioned invisible car) and sharp satire (an episode-long BET spoof, commercials included).

    The second season brought deeper looks at individual characters. Occasional departures proved even more intriguing – no more so than Glover’s uncredited turn as Teddy Perkins, a Michael Jackson-like eccentric living in the worst kind of house of horrors: one filled with broken spirits.

    The installment used the fright-night lens to examine, among other things, abusive father figures and faded celebrity.

    Donald Glover's growing, well-earned fame – and his status as an innovative creative powerhouse – is just starting to come into focus. It may be long trip from "Atlanta" to "SNL," at least in terms of approach. But Donald Glover has yet to take a stage where he hasn’t thrived.

    Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

    Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.