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'Saturday Night Live' best host poll: Can Melissa McCarthy crash the boys' club? -- VOTE

Melissa McCarthy is on a roll. Not only did she star in two of last year’s biggest comedies, but she’s also hosted Saturday Night Live in each of the last three seasons — the only performer to achieve that feat in that span. This past weekend, she didn’t even have a project to plug — a detail that became a funny gag in her opening monologue — but she’s one of those guests who clearly loves the show’s comedy environment. In fact, no one throws him or herself into characters more than McCarthy, who craves physical comedy perhaps more than any female comedian since Molly Shannon.

McCarthy had to share the limelight on Saturday, what with Seth Meyers’ touching farewell, but she delivered some great moments, including the return of aggressive coach-turned-congresswoman Sheila Kelly. It seems certain that she’ll be a major contender for Mr. Saturday Night after finishing second in the past two years, and she enters a race that is wide open. Jimmy Fallon holds a narrow lead, with 26.5 percent, while Drake slipped from first to a close second, with 24.3 percent. Josh Hutcherson saw his support nearly double from last week, and his fans have him right near the top, with 21.4 percent. Jonah Hill had a disappointing debut, with only 17.9 percent, but that was enough to eliminate Kerry Washington.

A quick rundown on our objective: To identify the funniest, most memorable SNL host, the person who best 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 own personal bottom line: Do you want to see this host back on the show next season?

So far, Bruce Willis, Miley Cyrus, Edward Norton, Lady Gaga, Tina Fey (Blerg), John Goodman, Paul Rudd, and Kerry Washington have been eliminated.

Below, I’ve embedded one representative clip for each of the five hosts currently in the race. After the poll closes, the host with the least support will be eliminated, and the surviving four will face off against the next host — still unannounced — on March 1, after the Winter Olympics are finished.

Watch the clips, refresh your memories, and vote. READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' recap: Seth Meyers (and old friends!) steal Melissa McCarthy's show

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Melissa McCarthy will do anything for a laugh.

Fans have known that since Bridesmaids (or, really, Gilmore Girls), and over the past few years she’s become a box-office star who is known for her intense, all-in characters that dominate both the screen and the discussion following the movie. So it was no surprise she’s been a reliably great SNL host the previous two times she hosted, and last night was no exception. If the episode as a whole felt underwhelming, it was only because expectations were sky-high — and laughs-wise, there was an emotional goodbye full of favorite friends to contend with as well.

McCarthy caught viewers off guard right off the bat, appearing in the cold opener as a Broadway performer tapped to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. I’m guessing this skit will be among the most divisive of the night. I personally liked it simply because it wasn’t yet another stale political opener, and, not for nothing, if Broadway wanted to start having a Super Bowl halftime routine, I certainly wouldn’t complain. (Of course, performers like Beyoncé and Prince already bring a level of spectacle to the proceedings that no musical could hope to contend with.) It wasn’t the funniest opener of the season, but it beat last week’s ice-skating Olympics sketch, and it was nice to at least see a couple silly original characters — the most random being Kenan Thompson’s Ben Vereen.

But the cold opener was merely an appetizer for trademark McCarthy. In her monologue, the host pointed out she really didn’t have anything to promote, and that she simply enjoys being on the program. Perhaps the randomness of it all led to the most WTF monologue of the year, with McCarthy and Bobby Moynihan in a feud that needed to be resolved by an onstage fight – in the air, on wires. Check out the results (So many in-air summersaults!) below: READ FULL STORY

Melissa McCarthy returns to 'SNL' tonight: Talk about it here!

The first time Melissa McCarthy hosted Saturday Night Live, she was just coming off the enormous success of 2011′s Bridesmaids. The second time she stopped by Studio 8H, she was promoting her then-upcoming Sandra Bullock buddy comedy The Heat. This time around, though, McCarthy has no immediate projects to plug, unless you count her continuing work on CBS’s Mike & Molly. (And really, who does? Memo to Chuck Lorre: Free Melissa!)

That means the show is bringing McCarthy back largely for one reason: Simply put, she’s really great at hosting SNL. In fact, according to you guys, she was the funniest woman who helmed SNL all of last year — and that season’s second-greatest host period, topped only by Justin Timberlake.

So, could this hat trick performance help McCarthy snag the title of Season 39′s Ms. Saturday Night? READ FULL STORY

Seth Meyers: 10 great moments away from the 'Weekend Update' desk

Imminent Late Night host Seth Meyers is known best for two things: Presiding over Saturday Night Live‘s writers’ room since 2005, and expertly anchoring the Weekend Update desk — with Amy Poehler, alone, and with Cecily Strong — since 2006.

What you may not remember, though, is that Meyers originally joined SNL as a featured player way back in 2001, giving him the second longest tenure of any cast member in SNL history. (He’s outstripped only by go-to impressionist Darrell Hammond, who stuck around for 14 seasons.) And though Meyers only really became a household name when he inherited Tina Fey’s Update seat, his 13 years of Saturday Nights also included plenty of memorable work away from the fake news desk. (And that’s not even counting his behind-the-scenes contributions; Meyers was instrumental in crafting SNL‘s wicked take on Sarah Palin, among countless others.)

So before Meyers departs SNL for good this weekend, let’s take a look back at some of his best non-Update sketches — the type of stuff we likely won’t see much of once he makes the leap to Late Night. After all, if you looked that good in a suit, you’d move away from character work too.

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Before the Super Sports Match Show, watch Melissa McCarthy on 'SNL' -- VIDEO

Note to self: When discussing Melissa McCarthy’s return to the Saturday Night Live stage, don’t use the phrase “third time’s the charm.” (It implies that the Oscar nominee’s first two SNL outings weren’t great, which we all know isn’t true.)

Kenan Thompson finds that out the hard way in McCarthy’s latest set of promos, which also feature the goofy duo struggling to light the “Olympic torch,” having some fun with musical guest Imagine Dragons’ name (think Garth and Kat) and explaining that since Sunday’s Super Bowl™ doesn’t air on NBC, the fine folks at SNL have to find something else to call it. Could Saturday’s show end up being even more entertaining than this weekend’s big Televised Man Battle With Ball? Signs point to maybe:

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'Saturday Night Live' best host poll: Will Jonah Hill's heart go on? -- VOTE

Martin Scorsese’s one and only muse, Jonah Hill, hosted Saturday Night Live for the third time over the weekend, and not only did he bring along his Wolf of Wall Street sidekick, Leonardo DiCaprio — an SNL virgin — but he also reunited with his Superbad pal Michael Cera. Hill, who may have forgotten to mention that he’s now a two-time Oscar nominee (for Wolf and Moneyball), also resurrected his Catskills-comic-inspired 6-year-old Adam Grossman and… and…

Okay, let’s cut to the chase. The show was solid. Some real funny bits. But Jonah and Leo doing their Titanic relaxation exercise was the show-stopper, a moment that crowned Hill as king of the comedy world — at least for a moment. If Hill had dropped the mic right then, I think he’d already done enough to advance in our Saturday Night Live best host poll.

But if Hill is here to stay, who’s on the outside looking in? It’s certainly not Drake, who debuted in first place with a solid 54 percent. And it’s certainly not Jimmy Fallon, who slipped to second but can be counted on to hang around with 24 percent. Josh Hutcherson refuses to go quietly, scoring double-digits again, and Kerry Washington edged Paul Rudd to survive another elimination.

A quick rundown on our simple objective: To identify the best, funniest, most memorable SNL host, the 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 own personal bottom line: Do you want to see this host back on the show next season?

So far, Bruce Willis, Miley Cyrus, Edward Norton, Lady Gaga, Tina Fey (Blerg), John Goodman, and Rudd have been eliminated.

Below, I’ve embedded one representative clip for each of the five hosts currently in the race. After the poll closes, the host with the least support will be eliminated, and the surviving four will face off against Melissa McCarthy on Feb. 1.

Watch the clips, refresh your memories, and vote. READ FULL STORY

SNL: Here are two GIFs of Leo and Jonah's 'Titanic' hug

Admit it, your favorite part of Saturday’s SNL was Leonardo DiCaprio’s surprise cameo during Jonah Hill’s monologue. Below, find two GIFs of Leo and Jonah reenacting a famous scene from Titanic. READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' recap: Jonah Hill gets a boost from Leonardo DiCaprio

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If you happened to tune in to SNL after Jonah Hill’s monologue, you probably thought it was an uneven mix of sketches with a laugh here and there. If you viewed the show in its entirety like I did, your ride started off with a BANG and slowly lost steam as the episode went along, but not without hitting a few other highs (and lows) along the way. Hill was returning for his third time in the host’s seat (or the Benihana seat), a strong addition to his Actor’s Stat Card, which also now reads, “two-time Academy Award nominee.” The host could hardly mention as much in his monologue before the anticipation started to build: It really seems like they’re building up to a Leo cameo right now. But there’s no way he’ll stop by, right? Are they…? Is he…? And then, there he was in all of his bronzed boyish charm, Leonardo DiCaprio. I gasped. READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Planner: Grammy Awards, 'American Horror Story: Coven' finale, and more

This week has all the necessary pop-culture ingredients: A great book, a great movie, an awards show, and countless television musts. Get ready to set your DVRs, hit up your local bookstore, and cheer on your favorite performances, because we’ve outlined the perfect way for you to say goodbye to January.
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Jonah Hill hosts 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend: Talk about it here!

No disrespect to Jonah Hill, but on some level, his upcoming SNL hat trick raises just one question: Hill is about to host Saturday Night Live for the third time. Yet his Wolf of Wall Street co-star Leonardo DiCaprio hasn’t hosted even once? Even worse, Leo’s never stopped by Studio 8H for so much as a cameo? This is so outrageous I’m starting to feel short of breath. Quick, somebody grab me a quaalude!

Ahhh, there we go. Now, what was I saying? Oh yes — Jonah Hill’s back on SNL this weekend, which means a few things. One, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll see the third recurrence of Adam Grossman, a.k.a. that 6-year-old kid who loves Benihana and talking like a Borscht Belt comedian. (Side note: Man, remember when Casey Wilson was on SNL? Side-side note: Man, 2008 Jonah Hill looked… different.)
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