Lena Dunham’s Saturday Night Live had something for everyone – even her 94-year-old grandmother. There was pixilated nudity, Bible stories, Jon Hamm and Liam Neeson cameos, an obnoxious GPS that didn’t like Dunham’s singing voice, and Liza Minnelli impressions. At the end, Dunham said she wanted to french-kiss the audience, a Benigni-esque declaration of emotion that I don’t doubt for a moment. (After all, her granny was practically a third-base coach back in the day.)
The Girls star wasn’t fazed in the slightest by hosting the show, which isn’t much of a surprise – Dunham doesn’t seem like a shrinking violet. Even skits that didn’t completely work belonged to her. That is, she came with a plan, and/or the writers recognized and appreciated her voice and sense of humor and made an effort to use them. Hit or miss, I so prefer this type of Saturday Night Live sketch to the ones that have little or nothing to do with the host.
Since Dunham’s fame is still rather polarizing, it will be interesting to see how she fares in our best-host poll. Jimmy Fallon might be invincible, but his biggest challenger is shaping up to be a surprise. Jim Parsons debuted in second place with a shaky 22.9 percent of the vote, but it’s Josh Hutcherson, who finished a close third, who is becoming Fallon’s biggest threat. His support nearly doubled, and there seems to be a bloc of voters determined to win him the prize. Melissa McCarthy, who still might rally to chase Fallon, finished a strong fourth, but she’s in danger now of following Drake off the elimination plank.
A quick rundown on our objective: To identify the season’s funniest, most memorable SNL host, the person who best fit in with the cast and put on a performance that you, your mom, and your co-worker were all chuckling about on Monday. It’s subjective, of course, but let’s reward the guest hosts who brought something special to the table. My own personal bottom line: Do you want to see this host back on the show next season?
So far, Bruce Willis, Miley Cyrus, Edward Norton, Lady Gaga, Tina Fey (Blerg), John Goodman, Paul Rudd, Kerry Washington, Jonah Hill, and Drake have been eliminated.
Below, I’ve embedded one representative clip for each of the five hosts currently in the race. After the poll closes, the host with the least support will be eliminated, and the surviving four will face off against Louis C.K. on March 29.
Watch the clips, refresh your memories, and vote.