It’s been an Oscar-caliber season so far for Saturday Night Live. By that, I mean that two of the show’s most popular guests took home golden trophies last week at the Academy Awards, and another was the award show’s host. (And that’s not even counting Best Supporting Actress winner Anne Hathaway, who was no slouch herself when she hosted SNL in November.)
So Kevin Hart stepped into a tight spot on Saturday: he followed Django’s Waltz, who rocketed into the lead of our Mr. Saturday Night host poll, and he’s got all-timer Justin Timberlake on-deck, set to host next week. Not exactly the ideal place to be for a first-timer. Technically, I suppose, Hart isn’t really a first-timer. As he explained in his opening monologue, he’d auditioned to join the show’s cast before – an experience that didn’t go down too well despite some amazzzzing impressions of Robert De Niro and Denzel Washington. Fortunately for the comic star of Think Like a Man and the upcoming About Last Night remake, Saturday night was a much better experience.
Waltz certainly was a tough act to follow, though: he cruised to a 37-point victory in the latest vote for our favorite host of the season. Christmas-episode guest Martin Short and season-premiere host Seth MacFarlane both lost ground, but are comfortably in second and third place, respectively. Jennifer Lawrence didn’t seem to get much of an Oscar bounce, as her support was slashed in half, but fortunately for her, Justin Bieber’s fans simply forgot to vote. The worst 19th birthday gift yet for the Biebs: pathetic support that resembled a GPA for a Delta House pledge more than a popularity contest result for one of music’s biggest names.
With Timberlake looming, Jennifer Lawrence might actually have to walk the plank… If so, I’m sure she’ll do so with great grace and humor. I won’t tell you how to vote, but it’s worth noting that we’re trying to recognize the best SNL host, according to whatever subjective criteria one uses to determine this sort of thing. Are you still laughing at one of their sketches today? Do you want to see them back on the show next season? Just some things to consider.
Below, I’ve embedded one representative clip for each of the five hosts currently in the race. After the vote, the host with the least support will be eliminated, and the other four will advance to compete against Timberlake on March 9. Ultimately, we’ll eliminate the less memorable hosts and crown a new Mr. or Ms. Saturday Night. Watch the clips, refresh your memories, and vote below.
‘SNL’s Don Pardo injured
‘Saturday Night Live’ recap: Kevin Hart hosted a heartless episode
Maybe Andy Samberg should host the Oscars – VIDEO
‘SNL’ costume designer talks quick changes and teases Melissa McCarthy’s return