'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.”

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.

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.

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.

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