Well, the band of "brothers" didn't get back together for a late night reunion after all, but Harry Styles did mention One Direction in his SNL monologue on Nov. 16. "I don't know if you heard or not, but I'm not in a boy band anymore," the singer, pulling double duty as both host and musical guest, quipped to the audience in NBC's Studio 8H. Adding that, instead, he's in a much more serious "man band" now, Styles threw in some couple of oh-so-cruel teases that fans might see a 1D reunion right there on SNL. "How crazy would it be if they were here tonight? . . . They're not," joked Styles.
He, then, took the opportunity to sing his former band mates' praises, seated at a piano, no less — and to maybe throw a little shade. "I love those guys. They're my brothers," Styles began, before listing the names of 1D members Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and... Cue a comedic pause from Styles, who eventually picked up with, "um, Ringo. Yeah, that's it." Styles, of course, used the name Ringo to replace Zayn Malik, who left the 1D in 2015 after spending five years with the group. Styles also cracked that he's "just so grateful Simon Cowell grew us in those test tubes."
The UK native also playfully took aim at his own dating life in the SNL opening. Styles began by comparing his first-time hosting NBC's sketch comedy series to the feeling of "when you find out someone likes you more than just a friend." Explaining that he and the sketch comedy series had "taken things to the next level," the singer also joked that "just like all my serious relationships, we're all gonna spend one incredible night together and then we'll never see each other again."
Later in the episode, Styles performed "Lights Up" and his new single, "Watermelon Sugar," from his second solo album, Fine Line, which he plans to drop on Dec. 7. In April 2020, he'll begin his "Love On Tour," which kicks off in the UK in April, before making several stops across Europe and concluding in North America in October. Styles' opening acts are expected to include SNL's Nov. 23 musical guest King Princess, singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis, and Jamaican reggae artist Koffee.
Although his Season 45 turn marks Styles' fifth gig as SNL's musical guest (three times with One Direction, and once solo), this is his first time as host. The singer and his band mates appeared in a 2012 SNL sketch as the children of host Sofia Vergara's character. In 2014, the group also played the part of an Amy Adams-captained high school dance team for an Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong "Girlfriends Talk Show" segment.
Three years later, Styles got even more of a warm-up for pulling double SNL duty, appearing in two sketches, in addition to performing "Sign of the Times" and "Ever Since New York" in April 2017. What's more: He even made a cameo in that night's host Jimmy Fallon's opening monologue, dancing and singing along to a few bars of "Let's Dance" by David Bowie. Elsewhere in the episode, Styles also played a Civil War soldier, before later doing a spot-on Mick Jagger impression for a Celebrity Family Feud-themed sketch. One post-broadcast headline from Vanity Fair read, "Harry Styles Just Proved He Should Host His Own SNL Episode."
Although Styles noted in his monologue that he prioritizes music over comedy, he has, again, proven himself more than capable of pulling off both.