RANKED! The 10 Worst SNL Hosts After Elon Musk Announces He’s Next
SNL has had some impressive hosts over its 45-year lifespan, some of them downright legendary. But just like anything half a century old, there are plenty of warts to go around.
Like the time Chevy Chase hosted in 1978 and got into a fistfight with Bill Murray, then two decades later slapped a female cast member on the head. Or how about when Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps flatlined for 90 straight minutes. Dare we even mention Andrew Dice Clay or MC Hammer?
Because Saturday Night Live rides the wave of current events, cast members often get saddled with whoever’s hot and trending that month, despite the lack of talent or comedy chops the host brings to the table.
Which explains why SNL is rolling out the red carpet for Elon Musk. The billionaire CEO and self-proclaimed “Dogefather” is the most recent rando to be tapped by the comedy gods (um, Lorne Michaels) to host SNL, much to the dismay of fans and cast members alike.
And we totally share the feeling. It’s one thing to be a slightly smirk-worthy personality in 280 characters or less on Twitter (all while maintaining a reputation as the billionaire rebel, whatever the hell that means). But hosting America’s most-watched sketch comedy show in front of a live studio audience is a doge of a different color.
To be fair, Musk’s pot-smoking guest spots on The Joe Rogan Experience (though notably lacking in laughs) were not bad forays into the entertainment world. And his varied public appearances have yielded more goofy photo ops than a high school quiz show. But if history is any indication, this is going to be one of those weird cultural moments when America is forced to watch a Combadge-shaped peg get jammed into a round hole for an hour and a half.
But even trainwrecks can be a thing of beauty (as long as no one gets hurt). Check out the biggest SNL hosting trainwrecks of all time before tuning in to see if Musk has what it takes to knock one of these miscarriages of comedy off the top ten. Knowing him, we wouldn’t be surprised if he works his way all the way up the list to CEO.
Cover Photo: NBC (Getty Images)
10. Adrien Brody
Hot off his cringeworthy Halle Berry Oscars kiss, Adrien Brody was invited to host Saturday Night Live. But apparently playing a gifted musician in The Pianist had gone to his head. Brody reportedly turned down every sketch that didn't involve him being a rapper. As if that wasn't bad enough, the actor gave an unscheduled introduction to musical guest Sean Paul, by sporting dreads and a questionable Jamaican accent, which was enough to get him banned from the show for life.
9. Martin Lawrence
You'd think that this funnyman and sitcom star would make the perfect host for a night of comedy. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong. Martin's opening monologue was so offensive, it had to be completely removed from the show and replaced with a random voiceover (true story). That set the tone for what would be a disastrous night as onlookers shuffled uncomfortably in their seats hoping the next words out of Martin's mouth wouldn't do any more damage.
8. Justin Beiber
The Beibs is vexing on a good day, so it's no surprise that his stint as MC in 2013 was less enjoyable than a hemorrhoid-filled rodeo. If you recall the height of Beiber's pop stardom, the kid was pissing in buckets and badmouthing Anne Frank. This same level of ignorant self-worship was in full effect as he killed comedy before our very eyes. But who needs to be funny when you can hire a guy to follow you around with a slice of pizza backstage? Thankfully, Beiber has matured since then, and now only lets the pizza guy follow him around with a plate of linguini and clams.
7. Katy Perry
OK, so it wasn't all bad. Sure, her sketches were lame, her timing was off, and she was generally unfunny, but there were one or two moments where she bounced back. All kidding aside, her performance on SNL was so bad, it's rumored her then-husband Russel Brand broke up with her moments after the show - which historians note may have been the funniest thing about her appearance.
6. Rudy Giuliani
Believe it or not, there was a time when New Yorkers considered Rudy Giuliani the greatest mayor the Big Apple had ever seen. He was revered like FDR, and after 9/11, was instrumental in lifting the city's spirits, which is exactly why he got the hosting gig on SNL. Unfortunately, Rudy tanked on the show just like he did later in life, politics, and haircare, proving that the funniest thing on TV is not comedians, but Rudy Giuliani trying to be taken seriously.
5. January Jones
January Jones should feel special, for out of approximately 800 hosts, she is one of the very worst. Though she wowed audiences as Betty Draper in Mad Men, it turned out her best bits weren't the comedic kind. Either through a total lack of interest in the job or because she forgot to power up her brain that year, Jones looked like a confused sheep lost in a misty bog the entire time. Apparently, the whole concept of the show never clicked for the actress - at one point she even stopped in the middle of a scene to ask which camera she should look at. Now that's funny.
4. Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong won seven consecutive Tours de France, along with our hearts. But it turned out the whole thing was based on a lie. Not long before the truth came out, Armstrong went on SNL to strongarm our sympathies. While the episode itself was painfully unfunny at the time, it has aged even worse. The fat girl jokes and flagrant poking fun of what turned out to be a real doping scandal make this a truly ugly night to remember.
3. Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton is the SNL equivalent of 5 Seconds of Summer making the cover of Rolling Stone. It should never have happened, and yet it did, forever tarnishing the very legacy of a cultural institution. Cast members later admitted that Hilton never spoke with anyone on the show, keeping to herself as she blew through her limited range of acting styles in less than 20 seconds. But hey, while the heiress is no comedian, Paris has blazed trails in other ways, being the first celebrity adjacent rich kid to become famous for leaking a sex tape. And that's a legacy no one can tarnish.
2. Donald Trump
Although Donald Trump is probably the worst president in the history of the United States, he's only the second-worst celebrity to ever host SNL. His appearance leading up to the 2016 election was a classic case of a narcissistic sociopath eating shit to gain ground. There's no arguing Trump is a hilarious public figure, but only in the context of him not knowing the codes to our nuclear warheads. And because this appearance was a stepping stone in his path to victory, it has to go down as one of the worst nights of television since the series finale of Seinfeld.
1. Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal. That's a name you don't hear often. Once an action star of the B-movie variety, Seagal used his black belt in judo to open doors, like the one to Studio 8H. Once inside, he called the entire writing staff stupid before deciding to write all his own skits. The only problem: He doesn't have a funny bone in his body (probably broke it while filming Hard to Kill). The show was so bad, it has literally been scrubbed from the internet. (If you can find a copy, please send it to us.) Lorne Michaels still considers Seagal to be the worst host to ever grace the SNL stage - a good enough reference to place Lord Steven at the top of the shit pile.
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