With Megan Fox set to host SNL (and most likely be really unfunny), we wanted to look back at some awful SNL hosts throughout the history of the show. Sadly, comedy on the show has fallen victim to the trend of booking hosts who are “hot”, but painfully unfunny. Below, we’ve listed the most comedically-challenged SNL hosts throughout the show’s history.
1 Paris Hilton (Feb 5, 2005)
How letting Paris Hilton host Saturday Night Live ever seemed like a good idea is a complete mystery, but we assume it involved copious amounts of illicit substances. Among the many sketches which bombed were “The Expensive Purse,” in which Paris Hilton and that incredibly unfunny guy named Finesse (who is dressed like a woman) fight over a purse neither of them can afford. Keenan Thompson was also there to make it extra-lame. Also helping that cause is the fact that Paris can’t act. Then there was a “Merv the Perv” sketch which forced Paris to decide whether or not to go to prom with recurring character “Merv the Perv” played by Chris Parnell. She went against every one of her real life instincts and chose another dude. The fact that Paris Hilton couldn’t even pretend to act like a Barbie doll, the toy she has based her entire persona upon, in the “Inside Barbie’s Dreamhouse” proves that she might be dumber than we had previously suspected, which we didn’t think was possible.
2 Nancy Kerrigan (March 12, 1994)
Proof that athletes should not host SNL, Nancy Kerrigan managed to ruin an entire episode by not being able to act or even having a sense of humor. For the most part writers asked her only to play herself, a task that proved far too daunting for a person whose greatest skill in life is spinning around in circles really fast. There was “Sports Beat,” a sketch with Kerrigan playing herself along with two other Olympian medalists, one of whom was shot in the face. Should have been hilarious, but it wasn’t at all. And of course there were recurring sketches of Kerrigan being rude to people at Disney World, which were painfully unfunny, unlike when she did it in real life.
3 Lance Armstrong (Oct 29, 2005)
Maybe the problem is that the SNL team’s strength isn’t sports comedy, which is why whenever they make one of these famous athletes host to pick up some viewers, it never ends well. Athletes aren’t actors (with the possible exception of Dan Marino. Oh, and OJ), and when you put somebody like Lance Armstrong at the helm, you just end up with a bunch of sketches of Lance Armstrong playing himself. How long is that funny for? Not an hour and a half.
4 Michael Phelps (Sept 13, 2008)
Really? A guy who swims? Somebody thought that a guy who swims should host Saturday Night Live? Do they even care if it’s funny anymore, or is their biggest concern getting enough viewers for Budweiser? What a bad, bad idea. In every sketch he either plays a swimmer, himself, or somebody who may be mildly retarded (possibly also himself), and the worst part is that in addition to not learning his lines, he was apparently too busy doing laps to learn how to read.
5 Steven Segal (April 20, 1991)
The only funny things about Steven Seagal are his ponytail and his penchant for silk pajamas, both completely unintential. Nevertheless, he was the host of an ill-fated episode of Saturday Night Live in 1991, performing as himself in a Hans and Franz sketch, a guy who is just like himself in another, and doing a pretty shoddy Andrew Dice Clay impression. He was also such a jerk with such a lousy sense of humor that he’s been banned from the show. Why aren’t we surprised?
6 M.C. Hammer (Dec 7, 1991)
Technically by this point he was going as just “Hammer,” that should have been the first tip off that things were not going to go well. The second? That he’s M.C. Hammer and has no business hosting a live comedy show. Actually they let him perform three songs, so that kind of kept him from having to act too much. “Memorable” sketches include his portrayal of Wilt Chamberlain as a man who loved women and french fries.
7 Carl Weathers (Jan 30, 1988)
Yes he was Apollo Creed, but when it came to Saturday Night Live, Carl Weathers just didn’t have what it takes to get a stew goin’. Years later, after he did a lousy job hosting, he had a cameo on an episode with Justin Timberlake that was pretty awesome (see video below). The best thing to come out of that episode in ‘88 was the fact that they didn’t have to put Darrell Hammond in blackface to pick on Jesse Jackson.
8 Jodie Foster (Nov 27, 1976(
Letting 14-year old Jodie Foster host SNL was about as smart as making Anthony Michael Hall part of the cast, which is to say it was a terrible idea. The writers couldn’t decide whether to write for teenage prostitute Jodie Foster, or to actually write for a kid, so they chose a kind of middle ground, putting her in sketches where she sort of hints that she maybe has the hots for her teacher, and another one about how she doesn’t believe in bees, even though she thinks Pink Floyd is really awesome. AWwwwwwwkward.
9 Robert DeNiro (Dec 7, 2002)
Who would have guessed it, but Robert De Niro really sucked his first time around on SNL. For starters, he gave what was probably the shortest opening monologue in the history of the show, which closed with a “boy I really regret doing this” type of joke. Then, he had that whole “I can’t memorize my lines and I’m old so I’m going to struggle to read the cue cards all night long” thing going on. And for the most part they just put him in tough guy roles and made him play the tough guy all night while ridiculous things happened to him. Tough Guy Peter Pan, Tough Guy Santa Claus, Tough Guy Dad. Also, it’s probably not a good idea to make freaking ROBERT DE NIRO cluelessly imply that he is going to give a gay man a blow job whilst simultaneously mocking an entire race of people. Just a thought.
Oh, Bon Jovi, how did you ever get a gig hosting SNL? And it played out pretty much as expected, with Jon playing himself, ruining a perfectly good Italian impression by Bill Hader, and not even being able to make it all the way through his monologue without singing a terrible new Bon Jovi song.
11 Donald Trump (April 3, 2004)
What could be worse than an entire evening of Donald Trump-themed “comedy”? No really, that wasn’t a rhetorical question. Thanks so much, NBC for that 1.5 hour long promo for “The Apprentice.” Shameless, stupid, and completely unfunny.