'Saturday Night Live' best host poll: And the winner is...

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Mike Coppola, Jason Merritt, Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon

…Jimmy Fallon.

The SNL alum delivered one of most memorable shows in several years when he returned to host the Christmas episode, a celebration of the best things about the show, past and present. But it wasn’t just the reunion of Jimmy and Tina Fey, Jimmy and Rachel Dratch, Jimmy and Amy Poehler that made this show classic. Fallon himself was better than he had ever been as a cast member of the show; he’s matured and grown more confident as a performer. Yes, he still broke in the middle of sketch — but at this point it was something to savor. He should do the Christmas show every year — in fact, let’s suggest just that.

Date of episode: Dec. 17, 2011

Number of times he’s hosted: First time… but he certainly knew the ropes
On the show to promote…: Christmas
Musical guest: Michael Buble
TV ratings: 5.2/13
Special guests: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Tracy Morgan, Rachel Dratch, Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan, and Jude Law

There’s a very reasonable argument to be made that Fallon (and Ferrell and Rudolph) enjoyed an unfair advantage over the competition — they’re SNL veterans, after all — and they shouldn’t be considered. If in five years, each year’s winner has been an SNL alum, then perhaps we’ll need to revisit the rules, but in Year 1, it’s difficult to imagine a more appropriate honoree. Well done, voters. Congratulation to James Thomas Fallon, Mr. Saturday Night Live 2012.

Final Vote

  1. Jimmy Fallon (36.9 percent)
  2. Melissa McCarthy (33.4)
  3. Daniel Radcliffe (21.1)
  4. Mick Jagger (5.9)
  5. Will Ferrell (2.7)

We’re just a week into the summer hiatus, but it’s never too early to start looking ahead to next season, which might need some dynamic hosts to assist in filling the void created by the departure of Kristen Wiig (and perhaps other cast members). I already have my short list of first-timers that I’d like to see dare to look “career-endingly stupid”: Ryan Gosling, Elizabeth Banks, and Joaquin Phoenix, for starters. Who would you like to see in Studio 8H next season?

Read more:
Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon talk ‘SNL’ glory days
Kristen Wiig on ‘SNL’ exit rumors: ‘When I do leave, it will be the hardest thing’
‘SNL': Best recurring sketch of all-time

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