There have been 956 episodes of Saturday Night Live.
I’m not going to count how many people have hosted those episodes, but let’s say it’s definitely less than 956. Which means more than a few people come back to host SNL additional times.
Four of the eight people who have hosted SNL this season are return hosts. Emma Stone joined the Five-Timers Club while Adam Driver notched his fourth hosting gig and Timothée Chalamet and Jason Momoa hosted for their second times.
As we head into SNL’s Christmas break, it’s a great time to start thinking about who might host the show in 2024. I’ve put together a list of five people who need to host SNL again — along with three people who should never host again.
When I first started pulling this edition together, Adam Driver was at the top of my list for people who needed to host SNL again. Lorne Michaels obviously felt the same way. Driver returned to host the show for the first time in three years on Dec. 9 — and absolutely knocked it out of the park. Hopefully Lorne is paying attention to the rest of my list.
5 PEOPLE WHO NEED TO HOST AGAIN
A list like this could easily stretch way beyond five people. I purposely avoided anyone who’s already a member of SNL’s Five-Timers Club. (Sorry, Justin Timberlake and Melissa McCarthy.) My goal was to come up with a good mix of new SNL hosts with hosts who haven’t graced Studio 8H in awhile.
Ana de Armas
Previously hosted: Once (April 15, 2023)
In what wound up being the finale for SNL’s 48th season, Ana de Armas revealed a knack for sketch comedy. She was great as an American Doll. She mastered the art of the animal costar. And she hit it out of the park as a background singer who hit Devon Walker’s Big Spicy with increasingly cutting digs. “Ooo, Spicy can’t read” is forever in my head.
Look, I really just want to see de Armas and Ego Nwodim bring their “Album Recording Session” characters back.
De Armas could easily close out this season of SNL again. Ballerina, her John Wick spinoff starring de Armas, hits theaters in June. Why not return to Studio 8H to promote it in the spring?
Chance the Rapper
Previously hosted: Twice (Nov. 18, 2017, Oct. 26, 2018)
Chance the Rapper logged two hosting gigs within less than twelve months. SNL doesn’t bring a host back that quickly unless the first time was a huge success.
His rookie hosting appearance gave us “Sports Announcer” and the iconic “let’s do that hockey” line. Chance the Rapper brought that character back for his sophomore hosting gig, sending him to the world of esports.
My absolute favorite Chance the Rapper sketch, though, is “Spooky Song” from his October 2018 appearance. SNL didn’t miss when it came to a Halloween sketch with this one.
Previously hosted: Once (May 5, 2018)
When Donald Glover hosted SNL in 2018, the world was a very different place. Solo had yet to open in theaters, which meant we had yet to see a Star Wars movie disappoint at the box office.
Donald Glover was already a star at this time. Not only had we already seen him in Community and Atlanta, but he had received multiple nominations and awards for his writing on 30 Rock and Atlanta. This is a guy who knew both the acting and writing sides of a great SNL performance.
One of the best side effects of Donald Glover hosting SNL? He hosted the same episode where Childish Gambino was the musical guest. Which is funny when you know that Glover and Childish Gambino are the same person. This was a night of discovery for a lot of people.
Speaking of Childish Gambino, this episode served as the world premiere for “This Is America.”
It’s pretty convenient that Glover’s TV adaption of Mr. & Mrs. Smith premieres on Prime Video in February.
Previously hosted: Three times (Oct. 25, 2008, Jan. 30, 2010, Oct. 30, 2010)
Jon Hamm is an interesting case when it comes to SNL hosts. Mad Men premiered in July 2007, and in just over a year he was hosting SNL. Hamm wasted little time racking up additional hosting appearances, doing so twice in one calendar year. The actor was on the path to quickly becoming a member of the Five-Timers Club.
After his October 2010 hosting gig, Hamm was done hosting SNL. Not to say he disappeared, though. According to the Saturday Night Live Wiki, Hamm has made ten SNL cameos, with all of them coming since he last hosted.
Is Hamm’s hosting absence due to a lack of projects to host? Would Tag have been a box office hit had Hamm swung by SNL for a weekend? Even without a project to promote, Hamm’s history with SNL and its cast (he played Tina Fey’s love interest in several episodes of 30 Rock) should have made him welcome at any time.
Luckily for all of us, Hamm is a blast to watch on the current season of Fargo — a perfect reason to host SNL. I need to know how business has been going at Hamm & Bublé.
Previously hosted: Once (Nov. 7, 2009)
If it’s weird that Jon Hamm hasn’t hosted SNL in thirteen years, then it’s downright baffling that Taylor Swift hasn’t returned to host the show after doing so fourteen years ago.
Back in 2009, Swift wasn’t yet the world’s biggest star. She wasn’t headlining billion-dollar-grossing stadium tours. She wasn’t dating football star/golden retriever Travis Kelce.
But she was a fantastic SNL host.
Swift’s hosting gig still earns rave reviews from SNL veterans. Former head writer Seth Meyers recently described Swift’s monologue song to Howard Stern (via Rolling Stone) as “a perfect SNL monologue, fully formed.’”
Is Swift too famous to host SNL? When she was a musical guest in 2021, literal “chaos” ensued as fans tried to get tickets. Maybe it’s impossible at this point in her fame to set up shop at 30 Rockefeller Center for a week.
(And, no, I’m not breaking my “no one who recently cameoed” rule here. Swift introducing Ice Spice’s musical performance in this season’s premiere doesn’t count.)
AND 3 PEOPLE WHO SHOULD NEVER HOST AGAIN
Yes, there’s someone who should be on this list and isn’t. Let’s just say that one is a no-brainer …
Previously hosted: Seventeen times (April 21, 1990, Feb. 23, 1991, Feb. 13, 1993, Feb. 12, 1994, Dec. 10, 1994, Jan. 20, 1996, Feb. 22, 1997, Dec. 12, 1998, April 7, 2001, April 20, 2002, Nov. 15, 2003, Dec. 10, 2005, Nov. 11, 2006, Feb. 14, 2009, May 15, 2010, Sept, 24, 2011, Feb. 11, 2017)
Alec Baldwin has hosted SNL seventeen times.
And that’s enough.
Whatever goodwill Baldwin had on SNL was destroyed by his stint as Donald Trump. What began as an interesting experiment (having an outsider play a major SNL role?) derailed SNL for multiple seasons and opened the door to an era of celebrity cameos that robbed the actual cast of countless breakout roles.
Baldwin hasn’t hosted SNL since February 2017 (during his tenure as Trump), but Lorne Michaels made the bizarre decision to pop a Baldwin cameo in at the end of Timothée Chalamet’s episode earlier this season.
Let Steve Martin host back-to-back episodes to dethrone Baldwin from the top spot on SNL’s hosting rankings.
Previously hosted: Three times (Nov. 12, 2016, Nov. 7, 2020, Nov. 12, 2022)
What do you mean Dave Chapelle should never host SNL again? you ask. Isn’t he a comedy legend?
Well, he was. As co-creator and star of the influential Chappelle’s Show, Chappelle carved his face on comedy’s Mount Rushmore. Unfortunately, though, he’s spent the past years making it very clear that he won’t stop doing transphobic standup material. Chappelle’s monologue from his November 2022 hosting gig was also slammed as antisemitic.
Even if you could somehow get past the social issues, Chappelle’s SNL hosting gigs are lazy. They rely on retreading characters from Chappelle’s Show (a show that went off the air in 2006). Chappelle often doesn’t appear in sketches. And when he does, he makes his own rules and does things like intentionally breaking character and offering his own meta commentary.
No other SNL host gets away with this kind of behavior, much less gets presented as the voice of reason while hosting three episodes that followed major American elections.
Previously hosted: Once (May 18, 2021)
It was clear that Elon Musk shouldn’t have hosted SNL back in 2021. Castmembers spoke out against him hosting. People pointed out that being a billionaire wasn’t an accomplishment that lands you this kind of honor.
Over the two years since Musk hosted SNL and the year since he closed his purchase of Twitter, he’s repeatedly revealed to the world who he really is. Unless you pay for a Blue Check on Twitter or got access to him to write a flattering biography, you’re tired of hearing about Elon Musk.
To paraphrase Community’s Britta Perry, I can excuse conspiracy mongering, but I draw the line at not being funny. Elon Musk is genuinely and painfully unfunny. The man doesn’t even understand how a “that’s what she said” joke works. (Rolling Stone broke down nine of Musk’s least funny jokes of the year.)
We don’t need to see Elon Musk on SNL to laugh at him. He now gives us a chance to laugh at him every day.