Saturday Night Live will return on March 29th with Louis CK performing the hosting duties for his second time. While excited to see C.K. back at Studio 8H, there’s a long list of people we’d rather see. The thing is, one of the reasons SNL is great and stays fresh is its weekly implementation of an outside host.
We like to see different people try their hand at live sketch comedy, and if they shine on that stage, we like to see them back… to an extent. For the same reason reruns can bore you, having a guest reappear every season (or close to) gets very tiring. SNL has the “five timers club,” and even that I feel unnecessary. We know Justin Timberlake can host, but we don’t want to see him reference “Sexy Back” and other outdated songs of his every. single. time. While Lorne Michaels clearly loves Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, fifteen hosting gigs is pushing it. Again, it just feels like a rerun (something they must be aware of since they joked about his during Baldwin’s last stint).
A few times a year, SNL‘s Twitter page asks its followers for host suggestions. Well fellas, let’s share a few ideas.
Note: A few rules for the hosts.
1) They must be an actor. Yes there are rare exceptions (Bruno Mars actually wasn’t too shabby), but I don’t want to see a pretty good host. We want to see someone that makes me say, “they should be a cast member!”(And for the love of God, no more athletes! They can’t carry a sideline interview, don’t ask them to sing Katy Perry.)
2) Said host must come from a comedic background. Doesn’t mean they can’t do drama as well, but comedic acting is a whole new bird. SNL is a very different beast and those with stand-up, improv, sitcom experience fare significantly better than those who don’t. Just because you have an Oscar doesn’t mean you can deliver a joke.
People always seem to forget Mila Kunis’ breakout role was in comedy. As the spoiled cheerleader Jackie Burkhart on That 70’s Show, re-watching the show now it’s clear that Kunis was always the strongest in the cast. As evidence, she currently has the strongest career of the all the basement crew, most notably with dramatic roles in feature films such as Oz the Great and Powerful and Black Swan.
But seeing Kunis return to comedy would be amazing. She’s played more of the straight-man in supporting roles in Ted and Forgetting Sara Marshall (and the the oft forgotten voice of Meg Griffin on Family Guy), but it would great to let Kunis run loose and go back to some of that Burkhart craziness. I’m confident she would be great on the show.
I would never guess that simple Andy Dwyer, the human Labrador, would vacation outside Pawnee for roles in two Oscar nominated films (Zero Dark Thirty, Moneyball). And now Pratt is a leading man, playing Emmet in The Lego Movie and the space outlaw, Star Lord, in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Chris Pratt is on a role! Pratt seems to be not-so slowly turning into one of Hollywood’s drama darlings, however, it’s clear his strength will always be in comedy. With two leading roles this year, he has reason to host and it be very interesting to see ole Dwyer take the stage. Maybe he and the rest of Mouserat can double as the musical guest?
Honestly, we’re surprised she hasn’t hosted already. Banks has held prominent roles in many popular comedies alongside many past SNL hosts, including Role Models, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Wet Hot American Summer, and Our Idiot Brother.
Not resting on film alone, she also had a recurring guest role on the popular, SNL alum helmed TV show, 30 Rock. If Peyton Manning can be semi-decent in a sketch, we think Banks wouldn’t be a problem. With a leading role in the upcoming comedy Walk of Shame, there’s good reason to ask Banks to host.
Stephen Colbert’s name has been thrown around for a while now. Many people have asked SNL cast members, current and past, when the day will come for Colbert to host. Well if Jon Stewart can take over a month off to direct a movie, we think we can allow Colbert to take a week. It’s the patriotic thing to do. Trained in improv, Colbert would most likely ascend the ranks of best “non-alum host,” right up there with Melissa McCarthy and Colbert’s Second City teammate (and co-star voice on The Ambiguously Gay Duo) Steve Carell.
While binge-watching the entire Breaking Bad series four days before the series finale, my most prominant thoughts were “IT’S SIX AM, TAKE A BREAK LIV!” and “whoa… Aaron Paul is an amazing actor.” Paul’s ability to hit a devastating range of emotions, while providing comic relief would make him a great host. We were hoping they’d exercise this option earlier this season (would have been great promotion during the last rung of the show) but they didn’t. They did however have Aaron drop into two sketches as Drunk Uncle’s “meth nephew,” and a cameo in the wonderful commercial for E-Meth. We feel like both parties are game, so let’s just do this already. It’s Saturday Night, BITCH!
(BB thought no.3: how is Jesse still not on a first-name basis with Walt yet?! No.4: why doesn’t Walt ever use his calculator watch. No need to do math outloud all the time, you wear a calculator, man!)
Jemaine Clement is probably best known as… Jemaine from the brilliant HBO show Flight of the Conchords. The masterpiece only lasted two seasons (with the stars choosing to end the show themselves) and that was far from enough. Since then, we haven’t seen much of Jemaine. He’s had smaller roles in films such as Dinner for Schmucks and Men In Black III, both of which does not do the Kiwi’s acting prowess justice. Master of the dry wit, it has been a big dream of mine for quite some time to see Jemaine host SNL. And while we’re at it, let’s make SNL history by including the other Conchord Bret McKenzie for the show’s first double-host episode. SNL has good enough reason to bring on the duo too. Clement will be reprising his role of the evil cockatoo in Rio 2, (set to premier April 11th) and McKenzie’s Muppets Most Wanted will also be in theaters. Besides, we all know how much SNL loves to incorporate musical numbers into their show and the pair are the masters of musical comedy. This could the Flight of the Conchords reunion the world has been waiting for. Do the right thing, Lorne.
Mindy Kaling has proven herself to be a queen of comedy. Her sitcom The Mindy Project has recently been picked up for a third season, and how can anyone forget the glorious eight seasons she played on the iconic sitcom The Office? Kelly Kapoor alone would be a great host, but it be more interesting where else Kaling could stretch her talent. While Kelly is a bit coo coo crazy, she’s not too far off from her Mindy Project character. Kaling can act and she’s funny as sh*t, but one of the things that makes SNL great is its push to challenge its hosts. Kaling actually was a guest writer on the show for about two weeks, writing a Weekend Update bit about Chad Michael Murray. She’s gotten a taste of what its like inside Rockefeller, it be nice to see what she can do when given the spotlight.
Another star we’re surprised hasn’t graced the stage already is Simon Pegg. Best known for his roles in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and last year’s The World’s End, Pegg is considered a comedy heavyweight.
The ratings we’d imagine would be quite huge, nabbing that elusive British-American demographic every show pines for. But seriously, Pegg’s comedic chops would be a delight to see on SNL.
SNL has had moderate success recently by branching out and nabbing some of stand-up’s biggest names to host, and it’s a trend worth continuing. With Louis C.K. nabbing his second stint, and Kevin Hart already with one in the bag, we think the next logical option would be Ansari. It’s true not every stand-up can translate their comedic skills over to acting, but Ansari is a proven actor. Not only can Ansari thrive on a sitcom (through Pawnee baller Tom Haverford), but he also has sketch experience having co-starred in the short lived sketch show Human Giant. Ansari is a polished actor through and through, so it’s not much of a concern how he’d handle himself on Saturday night. Of course, the biggest reason I’d like to see another stand-up command Studio 8H… the monologue. Say what you will, but we’re tired of show tunes every episode. Following Hart and C.K.’s lead, it be amazing to get a little stand-up with our sketch.
Note: Maybe in another season or two, former writers John Mulaney and Hannibal Burress can get the nod.
Former SNL vet Fred Armisen’s partner in crime would be a very logical choice. Again, the best hosts on SNL are those with improv and sketch experience. Thanks to IFC’s amazing sketch show Portlandia, we know Brownstein can (and excels) at playing multiple characters, from the calm to the manic, to the man-ish. With Portlandia only three episodes deep into the fourth season, Brownstein’s performances are already blowing me away. Her character work is underrated, and again, is there really any doubt she could pull this off and then some? (No. There, we answered for you. You’re welcome.)
Fun Fact: Brownstein actually appeared on the show last season in a silent cameo as one of the many celebrity guests on the “What’s Up With That” sketch. Let’s give her some lines!
Because it’s Meryl F*cking Streep… nuff said.
(Seriously, how amazing would that be? Right? Forever the exception to the rule.)