Michael Phelps Races for Comedic Gold on SNL

Now that Michael Phelps is done grabbing a record 8 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, what’s next for the most decorated Olympian? The obvious choice for a sports star, sketch comedy.

The U.S. swimming sensation will host the 34th season premiere on Saturday, September 13th, along with musical guest Lil’ Wayne. It looks like Phelps is trying to cash in on his recent splash into the pop culture pool, as he’s also rumored to have a mutual crush on Lindsay Lohan. (Don’t make me go Admiral Akhbar on you Phelps. “It’s a trap!” And I’m a nerd.)

The season premiere will be first of four live shows in a row, an idea that gained support for the show last season after it returned from a WGA strike-forced hiatus. Seven new live shows are planned to be aired after the election. The show also will jump to Thursdays for three weeks with a 30 minute primetime airing of “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday.”

Phelps swam into our homes this Summer as he went 8 for 8 in gold medal attempts, shattering Mark Spitz’s single-games record of seven gold medals. Phelps also holds the all-time record for most medals at an insane 14, and will look to add to that count in the 2012 London games.

At first glance, Phelps might not seem like a good fit for SNL. However, there have been plenty of athletes who have taken a crack at hosting Lorne Michaels’ popular, in a fluctuating manner, late-night comedy show. Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning both had hilarious moments when they made the transition from on the court or field to on the stage.

You can be assured that there will be at least one awkward Speedo sketch, along with an Aqua-man send-up. And you were thinking “Entourage” had a monopoly on Aqua-man jokes. Please.

What do you think of Phelps hosting SNL? Who is your favorite sports athlete who made the jump to the big or small-screen?

Adam Sweeney has a background in journalism, having spent 4 years on the Lone Star Lutheran as an Opinions and Arts & Entertainment columnist. He graduated in May 2008 from Texas Lutheran University with a Dramatic Media degree and hopes to become a filmmaker/journalist/radio host/actor extraordinaire. He also writes film and play scripts and figures if Good Luck Chuck can make it to the big screen then why can't he? He can also be read at as a feature writer on all things basketball, and his personal blog covers everything from politics to why Keira Knightley is looking more like Jack Skellington every day. (

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