This past weekend brought the last episode of Saturday Night Live for the year 2011, but the late night sketch comedy series will return with a bang in the first two weeks of 2012. Kicking off the New Year, and maybe the end of the world, will be NBA All-Star Charles Barkley returning to host for his third time on January 7th along with musical guest Kelly Clarkson. Barkley is usually all over the TV as an analyst for professional and college basketball on TNT and CBS, but when he comes to studio 8H, all bets are off. If you’ve never caught Barkley making an appearance on SNL, we’ve included a couple of sketches from his appearance back in 2010 after the jump.
In addition to Barkley’s return, Harry Potter fans will want to tune in the following week on January 14th when Daniel Radcliffe makes his hosting debut just a few weeks before The Woman in Black hits theaters. Radcliffe has show some comedic chops in some of the lighter moments in the wizarding franchise, so it will be nice to see him take on straight-up comedy on SNL. Recording artist Lana Del Rey will also make her SNL debut as musical guest alongside Radcliffe, and if these two new episodes can kick-off 2012 as well as Jimmy Fallon sent off the show this past weekend, we should be in for a great start to the year.