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5 One-Time Hosts that "Saturday Night Live" Should Bring Back

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | January 31, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | January 31, 2013 |

Quentin Tarantino — Tarantino hosted back in 1995, and on the strength of Pulp Fiction. He was one of the worst hosts in the show’s history. But Tarantino has been around much longer now, and he’s probably one of the three most recognizable directors in the United States. Plus, he likes to act, he’s a bit on the arrogant side, and I’m sure he’d think that he redeem himself and deliver a stellar episode. It’s kind of a win-win situation: If he makes a great episode, we get a fun Saturday night. If he makes a bad one, well, let’s just say that as much as I love Tarantino, it’s nice every once in a while to see the guy humbled, and nothing humbles you like sketch comedy.

Sample Sketch — The biggest reason I’d like to see Tarantino on is because I’d love nothing more than a sketch that featured Tarantino alone in a room with Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah, coming up with dialogue for his new movie. I wanna see Thompson and Pharaoh stand in over him, and the awkward pause before Tarantino decides to insert another N-word into his script. “What we’re you going to say? Go ahead. No, no. Don’t let us stop you.” It’d be a one-note sketch, but it’d be a funny note.


Brian Williams — Given the stable of former sitcom stars that NBC has, it’s often overlooked that Brian Williams is one of the funniest talents on the network, as anyone who has seen him on The Daily Show or 30 Rock can attest. He deserves so much better than that goddamn weekly news magazine with Chelsea Clinton that no one watches. It’s been six years since he last hosted, and I think it’s time to bring him back.

Sample Sketch — I want to see Alison Williams do a cameo, recreating the sex scenes from Girls, and a sketch that centers on Brian Williams’ uncomfortable reactions.


Jason Bateman — Bateman hosted back in 2005 during Arrested Development’s initial run, so what would be more fitting that to see Bateman return ahead of May’s release of AD’s fourth season? He’s the best straight man in the business, and the good thing about being a straight man is that, even if everyone else around you fails, you can come out of the experience unscathed (see also, most of Jason Bateman’s recent feature film output). He’d be great for May sweeps.

Sample Sketch — Since the cancellation of Arrested Development, I wonder how many times he’s been asked in interviews when and if AD was coming back, or if there would be a movie? What if Bateman finally just snapped. The straight-man shtick would go out the window, and Bateman could hulk out on some poor junket reporter. “ASK ME THAT ONE MORE TIME. GO AHEAD. ASK ME.”


Gary Busey — Busey last hosted Saturday Night Live in 1979, and since that time, Busey has evolved into a superhuman crazy machine. Someone turned his knob all the way up to BANANAS and tore it off. How awesome would he be for “Saturday Night Live”? It would be so effortless for him, although the entire show would probably have to be improvised on account of the fact that Busey probably thinks Satan is lurking beneath the Sharpee ink on cue cards. But that’s even better: It’d be just be 90 minutes of coo-coo bonkers crackle snaps.

Sample Sketch — During every third sketch, Christopher Walken would appear on stage, turn to Busey, and say “This guy needs a little less cowbell.”


Melissa McCarthy — Last season, Melissa McCarthy hosted one of the best “Saturday Night Live” episodes of the season, and like few host before her, she was all in. Often, even if the writing is bad, a host who jumps in, face first, and has zero shame can equalize everything else. McCarthy has two movies out this Spring, and while it may be too late to promote Identity Theft (Justin Bieber and Christoph Waltz have already been brought it for the next two shows ahead of Identity Theft), she’d be great for the season’s penultimate episode to promote her and Sandra Bullock’s Heat (assuming that NBC rightly brings back Tina Fey for the finale).

Sample Sketch — Bring back Arlene.