Finding Your Roots: Who are the Guests on Season 4?

Christina Knight | October 2, 2017

The acclaimed series Finding Your Roots returns with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. exploring the mysteries, surprises and revelations hidden in the family trees of popular figures. Season 4 welcomes Larry David, Bernie Sanders, Garrison Keillor, Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, Fred Armisen, Christopher Walken, Carly Simon, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ava DuVernay, Janet Mock, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, William H. Macy, Bryant Gumbel, Suzanne Malveaux, Tonya Lewis-Lee, Lupita Nyong’o, Carmelo Anthony, Ana Navarro, Tea Leoni, Gaby Hoffmann, Questlove, Dr. Phil, Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd and John Turturro. The program airs Tuesdays, October 3 – December 26, 8-9 pm. See the schedule of episodes and special encores, below.

Finding Your Roots Season 4 Premieres

Episode 1 | The Impression

Guests: Larry David and Bernie Sanders. Two guests linked by one hilarious impersonation trace their roots from 1940s Brooklyn back to Jewish communities in Europe. Premieres Tues., Oct. 3, 2017

Episode 2 | Unfamiliar Kin

Guests: Carly Simon, Christopher Walken, and Fred Armisen. In this episode, three guests each learn about a grandparent whose real identity and background had been a mystery to them. Along the way, two of them also discover that their close relatives were on the wrong side of history. Premieres Tues., Oct. 10, 2017

Episode 3 | Puritans and Pioneers

Guests: Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and William H. Macy. Three mainstays of modern-day Hollywood discover family legacies that predate the United States itself. Premieres Tues., Oct. 17, 2017

Episode 4 | The Vanguard

Guests: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ava DuVernay and Janet Mock. Three guests who have helped to redefine Black America in the last decade find their identities challenged as they learn about their family origins. Premieres Tues., Oct. 24, 2017

Episode 5 | Immigrant Nation

Guests: Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd and John Turturro. In this episode, three guests—all actors with immigrant parents—explore the tremendous challenges faced by their immigrant forebears. Premieres Tues., Oct. 31, 2017

Episode 6 | Black Like Me

Guests: Bryant Gumbel, Tonya Lewis-Lee and Suzanne Malveaux. Three African-American guests delve deep into their family trees, discovering unexpected stories that challenge our assumptions about black history. Premieres Tues., Nov. 7, 2017

Episode 7 | Children of the Revolution

Guests: Lupita Nyong’o, Carmelo Anthony and Ana Navarro. Three guests explore how their family trees were shaped by political turmoil and violence, discovering sometimes unexpected ancestry along the way. Premieres Tues., Nov. 14, 2017

Episode 8 | Relatives We Never Knew We Had

Guests: Téa Leoni and Gaby Hoffman. Two guests—both actors—whose lives have been shaped by family mysteries are introduced to biological ancestors they never knew they had thanks to genetic detective work. Premieres Tues., Nov. 21, 2017

Episode 9 | Southern Roots

Guests: Questlove, Dr. Phil and Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Three guests of disparate backgrounds dig into their Southern roots, where slavery and its aftermath shaped families both black and white. Premieres Tues., Dec. 12, 2017

Episode 10 | Funny Business

Guests: Garrison Keillor, Amy Schumer and Aziz Ansari. Three guests who have found fame mining their family stories for comedy learn about ancestors who overcame immense suffering. Premieres Tues., Dec. 19, 2017

Finding Your Roots Season 4 Encores

Season 3 Encore | The Stories We Tell

With Donna Brazile, Ty Burrell and Kara Walker.
Airs Tues., Nov. 28, 2017

Season 3 Encore | Family Reunions

With musicians and producers Sean Combs and LL Cool J.
Airs Tues., Dec. 5, 2017 at 8pm

Season 3 Encore | Tragedy + Time = Comedy

With Jimmy Kimmel, Norman Lear and Bill Hader
Airs Tues., Dec. 5, 2017 at 9pm