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

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Saturday Night Live turns 40 years old next year. The big 4-0. What does that mean, exactly? Well, to put it in perspective, that means 11 of the 21 people who hosted during SNL‘s 39th season were not even alive when the show premiered on Oct. 11, 1975 with George Carlin as host. The show has evolved slightly from one cast to the next. But at its core, it’s still the same format that Lorne Michaels and his irreverent crew established way back when, though the first few seasons relied on such a small circle of guest hosts that Buck Henry became the inaugural member of the Five-Timers Club before the end of season 3.

It would be interesting to go back to the very beginning and award a Mr. Saturday Night to the best host for every season of SNL. Elliott Gould might take the prize in season 1 for performing double duty, and perhaps Steve Martin wins in season 2 for the same feat. But who deserves the honor for season 3: Martin again, for hosting a record three times, or a tongue-in-cheek nod to Chevy Chase, who brawled with Bill Murray on his first time back after leaving the show?

At least we know who have been the best hosts of the last three years. In 2012, EW.com readers crowned the first Mr. Saturday Night, Jimmy Fallon. Last year, Justin Timberlake ran away with the trophy. This year, the two title-holders teamed up for one super-size Christmas spectacular with Fallon as host and Timberlake as musical guest. But still, Fallon has hardly been a cinch, rising and dropping in the weekly polls that eliminated one host at a time until we were left with six finalists. His former Weekend Update co-anchor Tina Fey is back in the game, and Catching Fire‘s Josh Hutcherson is the surprise dark-horse who remains in striking distance. Might he surprise everyone and accomplish what even Jennifer Lawrence could not last year — win Mr. Saturday Night?

Before we announce the victor of this year’s contest, though, there are six other non-democratic awards to present. READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' poll: Who was the best host of the year? -- VOTE

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Early during this season of Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin interrupted first-time host Edward Norton to share some pointers on how to host the legendary show, a late-night institution in its 39th season. “It’s a three-wheeled bus careening towards a blown-out bridge,” he said, describing the delirious mayhem that can either terrify or thrill a novice. It’s not easy in the slightest, and honor to those who make it look so.

For the third straight year, Entertainment Weekly has asked its online readers to vote for the best Saturday Night Live host each week. And every week, we eliminated one guest host, until we were left with six of the season’s finest. Last year’s Mr. Saturday Night Justin Timberlake didn’t return this past season to defend his crown. Instead, he lent his unofficial support to BFF and fellow Mr. Saturday Night Jimmy Fallon as his musical guest and all-around secret weapon. (He even sent Fallon’s rival, his old digital-short pal Andy Samberg, a very public show of non-support.) But this final vote promises to be extremely close, with only six percentage points separating the last week’s top-3 vote-getters: Fallon, Josh Hutcherson, and Anna Kendrick. To that mix, add Samberg, who is going to be fresh in everyone’s minds, and Tina Fey, an all-timer who was granted a second chance. Hoping to make up ground is first-timer Andrew Garfield. While Timberlake won last year with nearly 50 percent of the vote, it’s entirely possible that this year’s winner takes the prize with under 30 percent. READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live': And this year's overall MVP is...

… Kate McKinnon. Which should come as no surprise, whether you faithfully watched each of season 39’s episodes or only caught a few of its sketches online.

Let’s back up. Each week in our SNL recaps, EW’s writers have selected one cast MVP — the featured or repertory player who made the best individual impression in that Saturday’s episode. Sometimes those MVP slots were shared between two cast members; sometimes, as in this season’s premiere, we cited both a New Cast MVP and an Old Cast MVP, just to spread the wealth around. Because our recaps are written by different staffers with different preferences, the system’s a little less biased than it would be if the same person had chosen an MVP each week — meaning that the season’s overall winner has plenty of broad appeal, at least among the enormous subset of the population that is EW SNL recappers.

That said: The contest wasn’t even close. READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' finale recap: School's out, but not before Andy Samberg's class reunion

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What did you think of SNL‘s 39th season?

Maybe, instead, we should begin with a different question: What did SNL itself think of its 39th season?

The answer: Not much, if Saturday’s finale was any indication. Any time a former cast member hosts the show, we’re guaranteed to see a barrage of cameos from fellow alumni. But the sheer volume of ex-repertory players that showed up last night — and stuck around, taking up more attention and screen time than some new featured players have gotten all season — made the finale feel more like an unearned victory lap than a standalone episode. We already know that Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are funny — but if SNL is going to survive into its fifth decade, which begins next fall, the show needs to consider its future as well as its past. You’ve got to feel for John Milhiser, Brooks Wheelan, Beck Bennett, Noël Wells, and Mike O’Brien, who might as well have stayed home Saturday night. (Sasheer Zamata, Kyle Mooney, and, of course, Colin Jost, who’s the show’s head writer as well as Weekend Update anchor: Breathe easy. You guys are safe for next season.)

Speaking of SNL‘s past: Host Andy Samberg was fine, if not a dynamo like fellow alumni hosts Maya Rudolph and Jimmy Fallon. His live sketch work had highs (Nicolas Cage!!) and lows (that 2 Chainz thing, which… what?); the same went for his two (count ‘em: two!) Digital Shorts, which were amusing if not at the level of the Lonely Island’s best work. We can, however, credit Samberg with catalyzing the night’s… READ FULL STORY

Andy Samberg hosts 'Saturday Night Live' finale this weekend: Talk about it here!

Nearly a decade after launching the revolution, Andy Samberg returns to reign over the world he created.

Let’s back up. Samberg joined the cast of SNL in September 2005, just a month after his 27th birthday. Nobody really knew who he was, though, until December 17 of that year, when The Lonely Island’s second-ever Digital Short, “Lazy Sunday,” premiered — and almost immediately became an Internet sensation. Sure, it helped that the short’s debut coincided with the rise of YouTube, which had launched in February of 2005, and its “white guys rapping about mundane stuff” premise gave plenty of fodder for homages and parodies — but really, “Lazy Sunday”‘s popularity doesn’t need to be explained. It became a sensation for one simple reason: Even nine years later, it’s still really, really funny.

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Seth Meyers remembers his wedding to Stefon on 'Late Night' -- VIDEO

It’s already been a whole year since Seth Meyers and Stefon ran away together on Bill Hader’s final episode of Saturday Night Live — but Meyers remembers the wedding like it was yesterday.

“He was emotional, and I was emotional, and we’re sitting there, holding hands and almost crying, and he’s got a wedding veil, and I’m like, ‘This is a lot like an actual wedding,'” Meyers recalled on Late Night Thursday evening. “And then a few months later, I got actual married, to my current, real, human wife. And then when we got married? Nothing. Just nothing.”

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'Saturday Night Live' best host contest: Who deserves a second chance?

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After 20 episodes, the 39th season of Saturday Night Live draws to a close this weekend, with a very special homecoming for Andy Samberg, who returns as guest host for the first time. Expectations are understandably high for Samberg, who was an SNL all-star for seven seasons before taking his talents to Golden Globe-winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Fans of Samberg and his Lonely Island comedy group are likely counting on a new digital short, like its SNL viral hits “D-ck in a Box” and “Jack Sparrow,” and there’s always a solid chance — it being the season finale — that some other famous faces make a cameo.

Those possible developments will only enhance Samberg’s already solid chances for winning this year’s Mr. Saturday Night contest. After all, hosting the finale is a built-in advantage since voters will have his episode fresh in their minds when they have to chose between him and the four surviving finalists from this week’s vote (Josh Hutcherson, Jimmy Fallon, Anna Kendrick, Andrew Garfield, Charlize Theron). Then again, appearing last didn’t exactly help Ben Affleck last year. He finished last in the final vote, far behind his Runner Runner co-star and fellow SNL Five-Timer Justin Timberlake.

There will be one additional name on the final Mr. Saturday Night ballot on Monday, and once again, it’s up to you to grant a second chance to one of the season’s best hosts. Every year, some of our favorites get cut unfairly, tragic victims of the tyranny of the masses. (Hint, hint… Tina Effin’ Fey!) Last year, Seth MacFarlane was rescued by the voters, and he ultimately placed fourth in the final tally. Might Kerry Washington, Louis C.K., or two-time runner-up Melissa McCarthy shock the vote if they get a mulligan? Now is your time to be heard, to right a wrong. Vote below for the best SNL host who didn’t make the cut — but should’ve. READ FULL STORY

Seth Meyers launches 'Second Chance Theater' with 'SNL' sketch that never made it to air -- VIDEO

Will Forte has literally been waiting years for this moment.

Some background: In March, Seth Meyers revealed plans to introduce a new Late Night feature called “Second Chance Theatre.” The segment would highlight rejected SNL sketches, including a lost Jason Sudeikis vehicle called “Juggling Flyer” and Will Forte’s “Jennjamin Franklin.”

What, exactly, is Jennjamin Franklin? As Forte explained to Splitsider last year: “It’s this woman who is the spitting image of Benjamin Franklin, and this guy gets set up on this date with this woman, and she’s, like, this real sexual creature but looks exactly like Benjamin Franklin.”

Last night, in the very first installment of Second Chance Theatre, all of Forte’s weird colonial dreams finally came true. Feast your eyes on something that proved too weird for the show that brought us “Bird Bible”:

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Andy Samberg comes home, gets goofy in 'SNL' promos -- VIDEO

The Andy Samberg who will host Saturday Night Live this weekend is not the same Samberg who departed the show in 2012, after seven seasons of viral video-making and face-pulling. For one thing, the comedian is now a Golden Globe™ Winning Actor; for another, he’s wearing glasses now. You can see the difference!

Actually, scratch that. Samberg’s antics in the following video are right on par with the sort of stuff he used to do on SNL; on a scale of cast-members-turned-hosts from Chevy Chase to Jimmy Fallon, it seems like he’ll fall closer to the Fallon end of the spectrum. But don’t take my word for it — enjoy Samberg and old pal Kenan Thompson’s quick yoga, delightful frolicking, and general silliness in the video below. Think it deserves the prize for Promo of the Year?

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'Saturday Night Live' host poll: Did Charlize Theron's show sing? -- VOTE

Charlize Theron can’t sing — but that really is about the only thing she can’t do better than you. She’s beautiful, of course, has an Oscar, and has proven on Between Two Ferns and Arrested Development to be extremely funny as well. Her return to Saturday Night Live for the first time since 2000 — she was promoting The Legend of Bagger Vance then — is pegged to A Million Ways to Die in the West, her comic western with Seth MacFarlane; Hmmm, so maybe the only thing she can’t do well is believably watch Will Smith caddy for Matt Damon.

Saturday was a mixture of high and lows, as most SNLs are. Still, Theron had some fine moments that should make for an interesting vote in this week’s Mr. Saturday Night poll. With only one week to go in the season, our contest is truly wide open. Andrew Garfield made a splash last week and holds a commanding lead in the voting with 39.5 percent. That’s a solid but not spectacular debut showing, and it will be interesting to see if the Spider-Man star can hold those numbers. Jimmy Fallon was rock steady again with 22.3 percent, and he might be poised to move up again if anyone falters. Anna Kendrick had been in first place but her support was slashed in half, from 33.9 to 16.9 percent. Ditto for Josh Hutcherson, whose week-to-week numbers have been like a yo-yo; he sank to fourth place with 15.7 percent. Louis C.K. was eliminated with only 5.6 percent. READ FULL STORY

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