Affinity selection mass spectrometry (ASMS) has emerged as a powerful high-throughput screening tool used in drug discovery to identify novel ligands against therapeutic targets. This report describes the first high-throughput screen using a novel self-assembled monolayer desorption ionization (SAMDI)–ASMS methodology to reveal ligands for the human rhinovirus 3C (HRV3C) protease. The approach combines self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiolates on gold with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI TOF) mass spectrometry (MS), a technique termed SAMDI-ASMS. The primary screen of more than 100,000 compounds in pools of 8 compounds per well was completed in less than 8 h, and informs on the binding potential and selectivity of each compound. Initial hits were confirmed in follow-up SAMDI-ASMS experiments in single-concentration and dose–response curves. The ligands identified by SAMDI-ASMS were further validated using differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) and in functional protease assays against HRV3C and the related SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro enzyme. SAMDI-ASMS offers key benefits for drug discovery over traditional ASMS approaches, including the high-throughput workflow and readout, minimizing compound misbehavior by using smaller compound pools, and up to a 50-fold reduction in reagent consumption. The flexibility of this novel technology opens avenues for high-throughput ASMS assays of any target, thereby accelerating drug discovery for diverse diseases.