Taylor Lautner and James Franco: Who will be a better 'SNL' host?

When SNL announced yesterday that James Franco and Taylor Lautner would be hosting in December, I had one thought: Man, I would love to see these two wrestle. Just kidding: I thought man, James Franco is going to obliterate poor Taylor Lautner and his biceps of teenwolf lust.

In Lautner’s defense, he’ll be one of the youngest hosts the show has ever had — a few months shy of his 18th birthday puts him among the 10 youngest. I’m worried that we might have a January Jones redux on our hands, though: Lautner is famous for one and only one thing, and given how much the show has struggled this season to give hosts a variety of material, that’s going to make writing for him pretty tough. Might he be charismatic and nimble enough to carry it anyway? Eh…live TV has slayed far mightier foes.

Which brings us to Franco. Franco hosted last year, and he did a pretty solid job — plus he’s a naturally funny guy who has been in many comedies. He’s also shown himself to be a really good sport about making fun of himself, which is often what the best SNL sketches come from.

I think Franco has this locked down, PopWatchers. Maybe the question is will Lautner be a disaster, or can he hold his own?

Photo credit: Lautner: Tina Gill/PR Photos; Franco: Albert L. Or

Comments (260 total) Add your comment
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  • Ang

    Obviously Franco has the advantage here – he’s done SNL before whereas Taylor has not. However, I’m going to reserve judgement until I actually see the shows. Lets give Taylor the benefit of the doubt – let him prove he’s not just a “body” actor.

    • rush

      hear yee, hear yee :)

    • Rich

      A more appropriate question… Taylor Lautner or An Old Sweat Sock: Who will be a better SNL host?

      • Marin

        Wow, tough call. Definitely a toss-up!

      • Nihilistic

        Thank you for adding some sanity to this debate, Rich. Your question is ever bit as ridiculous as Margoret’s. Taylor Lautner couldn’t act himself out of a wet paper bag. This is going to be a bloodbath of the January Jonestown variety.

      • Rachel

        Putting down a 17 year old. Wow what a big man you are!

      • bob

        this 17 year old is stupid and a horrible actor.

    • Sarah

      I agree! Let’s just see how Taylor does before we start putting him down so much.

      • Lil

        Dun evr say a word against lautner. He’s fine man.

    • Elba Viramontes

      You are so right, i agree

    • Ruth J

      agreed

    • ashlee

      I agree. Franco has the edge. But having seen Lautner on several talk shows I believe he will rise to the occasion.

  • Arden

    The one who isn’t a pubescent butterface with no discernable talent.

    • Kevin

      Haha! That’s funny.

    • Jake

      Which one is that?

      • Sarah

        ‘Which one is that?’ Priceless!! :)

    • Celia

      Oh right…that guy…I like that one.

  • dave

    It all depends on the writing. I much prefer James Franco, but Franco’s episode could be a bust if the writing is off, and Lautner’s episode could be a delight if the writing is on.

    • Anna

      agreed, the actors can only do so much the writing has to be good for a funny show

    • bob

      very very true!

  • AnaB

    I really like Taylor Lautner, but Franco is definitely the better choice here, hands down…
    a) he’s hosted before; b) he’s had some pretty hilarious comedy in the last couple years (seriously, this year’s Oscar comedy sketch?! Genius!)… and c) well, let’s face it, he’s the better actor! =)

    • DeadEnd

      Yeah, Franco actually has acting experience and can work with different material. Even though the material on SNL will probably suck, I’m sure Franco can make it work.
      Lautner could barely hold his own in ‘Twilight’ as an actor (which I liked overall)….so I doubt he’ll be able to do much magic on the SNL stage.

  • michka

    James Franco of course. He showed his comedy skills more than once.
    I guess EW just can’t miss a shot to talk about “How to gain 40 pounds of muscles in less a year” (‘New Moon’, that is).

  • Bia

    Why you keep hatin’ on Jones, she has been validated time and again by critics for her acting…unlike Taylor.

    • Marin

      Her acting on Mad Men is one thing – her performance on SNL another all together. I love Mad Men & think she’s fantastic on the show. But I had to stop watching that SNL episode – it was too painful to sit through.

    • Nihilistic

      She’s a one-note character. Listen I used to heap all the praise in the world on January for her portrayal of Betty Draper. That is until I realized cold and prim is ALL the range she could muster up. Now I see her for what she is, a humorless, unflinching ice queen who lucked into the series of a lifetime. Maybe Ashton Kutcher was right when he dated her and told her acting just wasn’t her thing. Look it up.

  • Tyler Eliott

    Most people don’t realize this but James Franco is currently on “General Hospital”.. To my knowledge, he’s the first actor or actress to be on a soap opera not as a career-start or on the decline but while in the prime of a successful, blossoming career. Pretty gutsy choice..

    • Tiffany

      I know, I started watching when his episodes went to air. The thing that is crazy is that he is playing a man with all the characteristics of characters that he has played in the past. It is awesome and a little cheesy and I love it.

    • Nihilistic

      WHO doesn’t know this? EW references it in every other article. Fossilized homosapiens come out of the ground asking how Franco is handling the General Hospital gig.

      • Marin

        My thoughts exactly! I’m more shocked at people who don’t know that Franco’s on GH – you can’t get away from it!

    • gato

      Susan Lucci hosted SNL in the 90s

    • Ginger

      Actually Liz Taylor appeared on General Hospital for several episodes during Luke and Laura’s wedding. Carol Burnett has appeared in many All My Children episodes over many years. Some times stars will do a daytime part because they are day time fans. James call General Hospital, he was a fan.

  • TML

    Ya I’m going to go with James here. I thought he was really funny last time he was on it. But I’m still waiting for them to announce Jane Lynch as host…

    • Marin

      Jane Lynch would be amazing! I was happy to hear Franco had been tapped again – esp considering the quality of actors they’ve had this year. But there are so many great, proven actors who have yet to be asked. (And by “proven,” I clearly don’t mean Taylor Lautner).

  • ash

    i’m waiting for nathan fillion

    • Muse

      Nathan Fillion FTW!

      • Carrie

        FILLION!!!!!

  • Cris

    You’re asking if Franco, who has a solid track record of comedies and did a decent hosting job already, will be better than Sharkboy? Are you serious?

    • Marin

      Ha! Well said!

  • Mandy

    Franco has proved he can do anything. I worry that Lautner is a one-trick pony. But again, he can always take his shirt off and he will be a success…

    • Zoey

      Hey, if Lautner takes off his shirt, can Franco do that too? ;)

  • invaliduser

    taylor lautner has been famous for a week and has been in three movies maybe? james franco has been in freaks and geeks, pineapple expressm milk and hosted snl before. but we are still wondering who will be better? i think ew is trying to start online fights. lets also argue about how bonjovi is better than muse? also a joke sir

    • So,i’m the wolf girl.

      your a loser. and muse is better than bonjovi i’ll have you know. (if that was you joke. ha,.)

      • Nihilistic

        That was me joke, you joke, who joke?

      • Caitlin

        If you honestly think that Muse is better than Bon Jovi, you’re sadly mistaken. Bon Jovi is one of the most successful rock bands ever and while Muse has been around for a while they’re only gaining popularity because of Twilight (which pisses me off-I had their first two albums before Stephenie Meyer was “inspired” by them.) Overall, Bon Jovi wins.

      • So,i’m the wolf girl.

        i’m just stating my opinoin,i prefer muse to listen to over bonjovi.

      • Judy

        Muse is NOT popular because of Twilight. Maybe they’re known a little more in the US because of it, but they’ve been selling out huge arenas in Europe before Twilight even became big. And regardless of whether or not they got big because of Twilight, their music is still GOOD and they have a huge and passionate group of true fans who don’t even like Twilight. Poor Muse gets a bad rap because Stephenie Meyer attached herself to them, which is not their fault. btw, popularity and age do not = better. Britney Spears is popular too, would you say her music is better than Muse’s?

        Personally, I think Muse is artistic and astounding, while Bon Jovi is catchy but a little cheesy. The masses like catchy things.

  • omnipotent

    so robert downey jr has never hosted? lets get taylor lautner. i didn’t know who this kid was until ew started pimping new moon. it will be tough for a 17 year old kid with little experience to do snl live. taylor swift was painfully reading cue cards when she hosted. i guess at least taylor lautner isn’t singing too. that would be my career advice for him though. tween girls will buy anything

    • Marin

      RDJ could still be a bit bitter about being fired from SNL years ago & thus turned down any invite to host. Shame he hasn’t hosted though – would be great!

    • a

      What are you talking about?? The Taylor Swift episode was by far the best of the season so far!! I don’t think anyone was expecting that so you never know what Tayor Lautner do up there.

      • Nihilistic

        Someone reiterating the Ken Tucker-spun myth that Taylor Swift helmed the best SNL this season. Shocker.

      • invaliduser

        some people on here think the taylor swift episode was the best episode in the 35 year history of snl? h

      • Whatever

        Can’t you ead Individualiser ? a said the best episode of this season.

      • Whatever

        lol. I meant “read”.

      • Whatever

        Hahaha !! And I completely miswrote your name (Invaliduser) !! I think it’s time for me to go to bed…

    • cannibeth

      Robert Downey Jr totally hosted SNL in like ’97 and he was hilarious. It was amidst his various incarcerations and in true SNL fashion he poked fun at himself and it was great. With his Iron Man success I would love to see him host again.

  • Nathan

    Since James Franco has talent, I’m guessing he’ll be the better host.

  • Kelseyy

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing Taylor on it, im having my doubts so far but who knows he could all give us a big shock! James has an advantage though

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