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SNL Plucks Michael Phelps Out of the Hosting Pool

Michael Phelps Chris Irvin/Getty Images

Saturday Night Live is looking to make a splash this season.

The aging sketch series has tapped Olympic golden boy Michael Phelps to host its 34th-season premiere Sept. 13 on NBC, which probably wouldn't mind basking in the glow from its history-making coverage of the Beijing Games a little longer.

Aside from all the commercials and inevitable talk-show spots, this will be the first "acting" role for Phelps, whose world-record-smashing, eight-gold-medal-winning performance at the Summer Olympics made him the poster boy of U.S. swimming for generations to come and won him the hearts of millions of admiring fans.

Lil Wayne, who, appropriately enough, has also had the most successful year of his career in 2008, will be the musical guest.

Meanwhile, the MTV Video Music Awards has also capitalized on (or is helping to wear out the welcome of) the Phelps juggernaut, securing an appearance by the 23-year-old Baltimore native at the Sept. 7 kudosfest.

But considering we already know that teenage girls dig him, it's the SNL gig that will be the gangly lad's chance to prove he's more than a superhuman swimming machine with abs on which he can wash his own Speedo.

Assuming, however, that he'll leave the LAZR Racer® at home (although, if they're smart, he'll be wearing it in at least one sketch), the question remains: Can Phelps duplicate his poolside appeal while wearing everyguy gear?

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