For a guest host of Saturday Night Live, the day after the show can be cruel. Or awesome. The public’s reception is rarely in between extremes. Either a host was incredible, awesome, hilarious, the best ever! Or they were brutal, excruciating, painful, the worst! It’s part of the risk of stepping on the stage at Studio 8H, live, in front of millions of people who are waiting to see if the magic they’ve seen before in a guest’s movies, TV shows, or music videos is the real deal. Sometimes, judging by Twitter, it seems like we’re waiting for these brave souls to fall on their faces, but what we really want is something special, something we can hold up as greatness in 10 years when we whine again that the show used to better way back when.
Last year, EW began tracking the Saturday Night Live hosts in a less myopic way. Sort of. Thumbs up or thumbs down is no longer an option – rather, who was the best host of the season? In May, voters named Jimmy Fallon the first-ever Mr. Saturday Night. Now that we’re five episodes in to this season, it’s time to take a closer look at who delivered laughs so far and who choked on silence. Bruno Mars performed double-duty last night, but how did he compare to Seth MacFarlane and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or Daniel Craig and Christina Applegate?
I don’t have to tell you that this is serious business. Deadly serious. Don’t let the fact that Fallon’s “victory” didn’t even warrant a mention on his Wikipedia page. You know he holds the nonexistent trophy close to his heart, and that whenever he bumps in to Melissa McCarthy or Will Ferrell, he casually mentions, “You know, you should host SNL some day.” Ouch. But he earned it. He earned it with his Bieber impression and his low-rent War Horse stage performance, and it’s why he’s at the top of many fans’ lists for who they want to see return this season.
The rules are simple: Who was the best host? It shouldn’t be a popularity contest, but rather, who killed it? Who had you giggling until Wednesday? Whose hilarious sketch did you bookmark online and watch over and over and over? Below, I’ve embedded one clip for each of the five hosts, just to remind you of their recent performances. Vote below, and the host with the least support will be eliminated, and the other four will advance to compete against Louis CK on Nov. 3. Ultimately, we’ll eliminate the less memorable hosts and crown a new Mr. or Mrs. Saturday Night. Watch and vote below.