I love that Saturday Night Live not only reveres its past but makes it a priority to revisit it. In the past few seasons, Martin Short and Dana Carvey have hosted — not necessarily because they have something new to plug but simply because they’re funny and mean something to the show. Ditto for John Goodman, who hosted on Saturday for the first time since 2001. Perhaps his appearance was slightly pegged to Inside Llewyn Davis, which is expanding; and perhaps it was originally slated to promote Monuments Men, his George Clooney movie that was originally scheduled for Dec. 18, but if this bring-back-a-favorite-around-holiday-season-just-because thing becomes a tradition, I’m all for it.
I say all that acknowledging that Goodman didn’t exactly bring down the house on SNL. As Jodi Walker wrote, “he’s joyous and reliable, a return to a level playing field.” Plus, he’s still hot.
Goodman now enters a best-host field that is beginning to solidify. Last week, the always-affable Paul Rudd debuted in first place with a respectable 55 percent showing. That’s par for the course. After all, Josh Hutcherson scored 62 percent, the highest debut of the season, after he hosted. But Hutch plummeted to 12 percent this week, finishing third. Kerry Washington remained in second, but enjoyed a four-point bump. EW’s guest editor Tina Fey ticked up slightly, edging Lady Gaga and enabling her to survive another week.
Quick reminder: we’re trying to identify the best SNL host, the funniest, most-memorable guest who fit in with the cast and put on a performance that you, your mom, and your co-worker were all chuckling about on Sunday afternoon. It’s subjective, of course, but let’s reward the guest hosts who brought something special to the table. My bottom-line: Do you want to see this host back on the show next season?
So far, Bruce Willis, Miley Cyrus, Edward Norton, and Gaga have been eliminated.
Below, I’ve embedded one representative clip for each of the five hosts currently in the race. After the vote closes on Friday, the host with the least support will be eliminated, and the surviving four will face off against Jimmy Fallon, a former Mr. Saturday Night who’s joined by another Mr. Saturday Night as musical guest. That’s a first.
Watch the clips, refresh your memories, and vote.