Going into its 40th season on the air Saturday Night Live is in a weird place right now. While the regular performers are all great the show has seemed to have fallen into a stagnant pattern when it comes to ideas and set up for the show. It can feel very paint by the numbers at times with the show lay out and I think that has to do with the hosts. Not that the host do anything wrong but it feels like there is a lack of variety when it comes to the hosts. While they had success with new hosts like Josh Hutcherson, Kerry Washington and Drake there is definitely a reliance on people that were either hosts or cast members before. Shame because there are a lot of comedians and actors out there that haven’t even hosted the show that could be great. These are the people I’m going to look at today. A group of talented actors and comedians that I think could make great first time hosts for Saturday Night Live.
Full disclosure, I don’t think he would be good. While I dig Maron and his style I just don’t think it would fit in on current SNL. I’m sure there would be worse hosts but I just don’t think hosting SNL would be Maron’s forte. What would work though is the WTF episode afterwards. Whenever he has a former SNL cast member on we hear about his audition in the 90’s and its gold every time. I’d love to hear about Maron finally getting the chance to go behind the scenes and work on the show. It could even open up the doors to a Lorne Michaels interview which could be a goldmine of information. It may not be the best for the show but it could lead to one of the best WTF episodes ever. As far as I’m concerned that’s a fair trade off.
To me Odenkirk is a funny case. Before he became the “smart” comedy fans pick he wrote for SNL in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Working with Conan O’Brien and Robert Smigel he wrote for Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Chris Farley. Since then he has been in all kinds of roles including The Spectacular Now, Nebraska, and hosted his very own sketch show, Mr. Show. As Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad he broke into the mainstream and became a household name. With his own spin-off coming next year it seems like the perfect time to have him host. He has the fame, the experience and could be a unique voice as an SNL host.
Bonus points if he can get Mr. Show cast members to make an appearance.
James Adomian or Paul F. Tompkins
I realize that unless they hit mega fame in the next year or so neither of these picks are going to happen. Heck if I remember correctly Adomian has tried out for the show and didn’t make it. But the character work from these two is too good for me to ignore. While I had seen these guys on various TV shows I really learned how hilarious they were on the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcasts and TV show. Both have amazing comedic timing and impersonation skills. Admittedly a Werner Herzog impression may go over the viewers’ heads but a crazed German and his hatred for nature is comedy gold. Again will they ever give underrated comedians the chance to host? No, SNL just isn’t like that anymore. Would it make for amazing comedy? Absolutely it would.
Of all the comedians the past decade I’m most surprised that Stephen Colbert hasn’t been a host yet. For the past nine years Colbert has jumped over predecessors Bill Maher and Jon Stewart as the top political satirist in the United States. Before this in the ancient time known as the late 90’s Stephen Colbert was a bit player on Saturday Night Live most notably doing voices for Robert Smiegel shorts. Even further back in time (aka the early 90’s) he was working with Chicago’s Second City and seemed like a shoe in for the show. Now I’m not sure if he can still host due to his Late Night gig next year but if there’s a chance they should snatch him up for on episode this upcoming season.
This seems like such an obvious choice. This comedic tour de force he has written for 30 Rock, starred in the underrated Mystery Team, was a fun standup comedian and was one of the big stand outs on NBC’s Community. While laying low in the comedy world the past year he has quietly made a name for himself in the music world as Childish Gambino. A good lyricist in his own right he has worked with artists like Ghostface Killah, Rza, Bun B, and Chance the Rapper. Add him currently working on a pilot for FX and Glover clearly has a lot of things in the works. I think it would be a major coup for SNL to get this rising star though. He not only has the chops for comedy but he draws from so many fan bases that it could bring in a lot of new viewers. As far as I can tell Donald Glover hosting would be a win-win situation for everyone.
Over the past decade or so Adam Scott has proven himself to be one of the most underrated and versatile comedic actors going right now. Working since he was a teen I, like a lot of people, first noticed him as Derek in Step Brothers. He had just nailed the smarmy asshole role in a way few can do. Since then he’s proven he can do it all from douchey bully to the socially awkward Ben Wyatt on Parks and Recreation and even meta self-referential humor with things like The Greatest Event in Television History. He’s even done some great improv work on shows like Comedy Bang! Bang! and his own podcast U Talkin U2 To Me. With all these qualities and the recent developmental deal he signed with NBC it’s astounding that he hasn’t hosted the show sooner.