Julia Louis-Dreyfus is TV royalty, the Emmy-winning star of three different series and one of today’s most beloved actresses. That she was once a member of the Saturday Night Live cast — for three seasons, no less — is almost an afterthought. And perhaps a little bit of joke. If it is, at least Louis-Dreyfus is in on it, and she made her overlooked/underused tenure at the show in the early 1980s a punchline during her opening monologue.
Also part of her return to Studio 8H: shout-outs to Seinfeld and Veep, with her resurrecting Elaine Benes opposite Larry David’s Bernie Sanders during the cold-open and some Selina Mayer-esque aggression directed towards incompetent card-holder Tony Hale.
The episode wasn’t necessarily one of the season’s strongest, but Louis-Dreyfus made certain she wasn’t stuck cast as the type of secretary who only ushers in Ed Grimley. She even starred in several of the pre-recorded sketches — including one very funny fake commercial for Heroin AM. Even the bits that didn’t quite land (or went on too long) had their huge moments… “…and huge is the same as good.”
Our fifth annual Mr. Saturday Night contest is shaping up to be a glass-ceiling shattering event that might crown its first Ms title holder. Though there’s still another month of shows to go, the surprise frontrunner is Ariana Grande, who actually gained support while winning for the third consective week. Her impressive showing easily defeated Russell Crowe, who scored 29 percent of the vote — good enough for second place but hardly a promising debut. (Even Peter Dinklage, who was eliminated in only his second week, scored higher than that in his first poll.) It’s conceivable that Crowe will drop further this week, too, because Larry David and the duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have rebounded with a core of loyal supporters. They might have finished in a dead-heat for third place, 16 points behind Crowe, but the Nice Guys actor could be the odd-man out next time.
Ariana Grande 38% (+1 pt)
Russell Crowe 29% (—)
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler 13% (+0)
Larry David 13% (+3)
Peter Dinklage 7% (-26)
Our rules are simple: Who was the best, most memorable SNL host this season? More specifically, who do you hope gets invited back next year? Whose show had your boss, your mom, and your roommate still giggling on Monday morning? It’s subjective, of course, but let’s reward the guest hosts who brought something special to the table. So far, we’ve eliminated Dinklage, Melissa McCarthy, Adam Driver, Jonah Hill, Ryan Gosling, Ronda Rousey, Amy Schumer, Chris Hemsworth, Tracy Morgan, Matthew McConaughey, Elizabeth Banks, Miley Cyrus, and Donald Trump.
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Below, see one representative clip from each of the five hosts, just as a small taste of their recent performances. You’re not voting on this one sketch alone; be sure to consider the entire episode. Make your pick below, and the host with the least support will be eliminated; the other four will advance to compete against Brie Larson on May 7. Ultimately, we’ll dismiss the less memorable hosts and crown a new Mr. or Ms. Saturday Night in May. Watch and vote below.