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Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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The Top 10 People Who Should Host ‘Saturday Night Live’

By Rachel Bennett
Television Editor & Columnist


For more than 35 years, NBC’s Saturday Night Live has reigned as TV’s best live sketch show.

During this time, comedians have broken out into stars, musicians have found stardom, and celebrities have shown audiences a different side of themselves — all from appearing on one stage.

Though the regular cast brings viewers back week after week, the musical guest and particularly the host help lure in new or casual audiences. This season, the show’s 38th, has seen the likes of Louis C.K. (FX’s Louie), Daniel Craig (Skyfall) and, last week, Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables) tackling hosting duties.

Jeremy Renner (The Avengers) is set to host this week. Considering such entertaining guest stars, I thought about who else I’d like to see take the stage.

Here are my choices for the top 10 celebs I want to host SNL this season:

10. Aubrey Plaza

Plaza isn’t yet a household name, but she’s had a great year. She will most likely have an even better 2013, as she is headlining the Valentine’s Day comedy The To Do List. The film, featuring Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Donald Glover and others, looks promising, and it’s a testament to Plaza’s skill that she’ll be the one to lead it. She also has two more movies lined up and will co-star with such big names as Melissa Leo, Chris Evans and Shia LaBeouf. Plaza’s deadpan act, which she does so well on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, can get old, but she proved her range as the co-lead of this summer’s Safety Not Guaranteed. I can only imagine how much more SNL would push her and give her the recognition she deserves.

9. Jamie Foxx

Foxx has hosted SNL only once in his career, more than 10 years ago in 2000. In December, he’ll get the spotlight in director Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained as the titular Django, so it’s about time he return as host. Foxx is in the running to be a Best Actor contender at the 2013 Oscars, and appearing on SNL could help him stand out against his co-star and category competitor Christoph Waltz, who many thought would enter as a Best Supporting Actor candidate. Foxx also recently completed hilarious supporting roles in the films Due Date and Horrible Bosses (alongside SNL regular Jason Sudeikis), so it’s assured he would bring a lot of laughs to the sketch series.

8. Lena Dunham

The second season of HBO’s hit comedy Girls debuts Jan. 13, 2013, so what could be a better time for star Dunham to host? Though Louis C.K. is much more seasoned than Dunham, Dunham’s been declared a younger, female version of the comedian,  and she could continute to follow in his footsteps by hosting. Considering that she also writes (and directs and produces) Girls, she would make a great addition to the writers’ room when coming up with sketches. Dunham also seems to be up for mostly anything, appearing nude in multiple Girls episodes, which would make her even more fun. Maybe her high school crush and former SNL cast member Jimmy Fallon could help a girl out?

7. Bruce Willis

One of the several actors who’s had a wonderful year is Willis, who starred in the hits Moonrise Kingdom, Looper and The Expendables 2. Next year should be just as profitable for the actor, as his films G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Red 2 and Die Hard sequel A Good Day to Die Hard will be released. Willis hosted in 1989 but has yet to return, and this season would be the perfect homecoming. Willis’ gruff and intimidating facade makes it fun to see him let loose and poke fun at himself, and I can only imagine how much material that would provide for SNL. Willis’ Looper co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosted the season’s second episode, so hopefully Willis won’t be too far behind.

6. Mila Kunis

She is Esquire‘s “Sexiest Woman Alive” for 2012, but even that may not give Kunis enough confidence to host SNL. “I am so scared of screwing up an SNL because it’s live — you can’t have a do-over,” she tells the magazine. “I’ve seen enough of my friends do it and I’m so proud of them — because to me it’s the most frightening thing … Not to say I am never going to do it.” Let’s hope Kunis follows through on that last part because she’d be a magnetic host. From gracing the cover of GQ‘s 2011 comedy issue to starring in the comedies Friends with Benefits and Ted, Kunis is one of the funniest actresses around. She’s also tackled Snooki in a sketch for CBS’s The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and I think there’s nothing she couldn’t do for laughs.

5. Ryan Gosling

Not only was Gosling not selected as People‘s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2011, but he has also never hosted SNL. This is a tragedy that must be corrected immediately, even though the actor says he’s “too scared.” Next year, moviegoers will be treated to at least four Gosling pics, including Gangster Squad and The Place Beyond the Pines, so the time is right. Even though these are dramas, for which he’s primarily known, Gosling showed his comedic range in last year’s Crazy, Stupid, Love. and Drunk History Christmas. His Gangster Squad co-star Emma Stone (herself a two-time host) wants him to host, and there are even Facebook and Twitter accounts demanding it to happen. Make it work, SNL creator Lorne Michaels — preferably with numerous shirtless skits.

4. Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Dunham’s not the only HBO heroine who should host SNL. Before starring on NBC’s Seinfeld, Louis-Dreyfus was a SNL cast member for three seasons, from 1982 to 1985. She returned to the studio twice to host, once in 2006 and another in 2007, and she should come back before the season’s over. The actress is fresh off of an Emmy win, nabbing Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series from SNL alumnae Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) and Tina Fey (NBC’s 30 Rock). The show for which Louis-Dreyfus won, Veep, has been a hit with critics and was nominated for the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy. The comedy received a second season, so let’s see if Louis-Dreyfus will get a chance to promote it by appearing on the sketch series. And if she wants to bring Poehler (and/or Fey) with her, that wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen.

3. Bill Murray

Murray, another SNL alum, last hosted the show in 1999. It was his sixth time, but hopefully there will be more to come. When asked in 2011 why he doesn’t host more often, Murray replied, “Well, I’ve done it a couple of times. I like this group they have now. I think this group they have now is very, very, very good. I like these actors. These are the best actors since the first group, I think. This group they’ve got.” Even though it’s a vague answer, it doesn’t rule out the possibility he’ll take on the task again. Murray’s had two great roles this year, one in the summer hit Moonrise Kingdom and the other as President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the upcoming Hyde Park on Hudson. If any year would be the year for him to return, it would be this one. May I suggest he host the season finale?

2. Jennifer Lawrence

Is there a more likable actress right now than Lawrence? She’s in a league of her own, comparable with only The Perks of Being a Wallflower star Emma Watson and Emma Stone. Lawrence is getting rave reviews for her performance in the upcoming Silver Linings Playbook and is poised to be the frontrunner in the Best Actress Oscar race. Silver Linings Playbook finally gives her a large platform to show her comedic chops (if you don’t count her stint on TBS’s The Bill Engvall Show), which would be even more highlighted on SNL. All one has to do is read her recent profile in The New York Times or watch her interviews to see she’s a natural comedian and would make a stellar host.

1. Joel McHale

NBC’s struggling Community returns Feb. 7 for the fourth season, and its diehard fans hope it can survive long enough to last six seasons and a movie. The exposure SNL could give the comedy would be amazing, allowing viewers to get a glimpse of McHale’s talent and ability to lead a show. Of course, some are already aware of his hosting talents from watching E!’s The Soup, which McHale’s hosted, produced and written some episodes for since 2004. Aside from this, however, McHale’s done stand-up as well as appeared in such comedic films as Ted, What’s Your Number? and The Informant! He’s even got Gosling beat in SNL-hosting petitions, as he has Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr pages devoted to his cause. If McHale could bring along rapper Childish Gambino (aka Community co-star Donald Glover) as the musical guest, that would be even sweeter.

What do you think of our choices? Who do you want to host SNL? Let us know!

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  • Joey

    John McAfee

  • Cooper Rawlingsaff

    James McAvoy

    • Rachel

      I love him. He’d be awesome.

  • Stacarooney

    Definately Joel McHale, that would be awesome for Community right now.

  • Scottie

    Sandra Bullock.

  • Brian

    Joel McHale with Childish Gambino would be amazing. Community is probably the best show I’ve seen since Arrested Development, and it seems to be facing similar troubles. A network that won’t commit to it regardless of the fervent and dedicated fan base. And look what happened to Arrested Development, they got moved around on the schedule and didn’t get promoted, until it eventually got killed off by Fox, only to have the word of mouth spread and popularity boom after it got taken off the air. Community is a brilliant show with an amazing ensemble cast and an excellent writers room behind them. It’s unconventional and weird, but awesome. SNL could almost guarantee every Community fan would tune in for that show just to get their Community fix till February. I know I would. They could get the whole cast in on it. Each member of the study group could get their own cameo too. NBC could make this happen if they wanted to.

  • Uriah

    got a pretty good list of people who should host! It’s nice that we got our
    wish for at least one, Jamie Foxx. I used to watch him in ‘In Living Color’,
    which he acted in for a while. With that in mind, I know he will be great hosting
    SNL on December 8! I won’t be able to see the
    show live since I’ll be working late at DISH that night. A while back, I set up
    my Hopper from DISH to automatically record the show so I can watch it the next
    morning. Its nice being able to have the entire season on my DVR with more than
    enough recording space left to record the rest of the season of SNL and then
    more. I am definitely looking forward to hearing Ne-Yo as well.

  • Lizzy Caplan!!! How Lizzy Caplan did not make this list, she’s the best combination of hilarious and sexy I’ve ever seen. She’s witty, has a killer timing and masters deadpan humor like no one (since Bea Arthur). I love her in EVERYTHING I’ve seen her in and did I mention she’s hot???