Saturday Night Live has been a weekend institution since debuting way back in 1975. Since then a select few actors have hosted the show multiple times.
The amount of hosting gigs that typically means something is five. The Five-Timers club is an exclusive group of some of the best hosts of all time. With the show enjoying its highest ratings in years — as well as some of the best critical responses — we thought it’d be a great time to break down the top 10 members of the five-timers club!
10. Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake is one of the most recent additions to the Five-Timers club. He joined in 2013 after being a staple of the show during the turn of the decade. He was known for his friendship with former cast members Jimmy Fallon and Andy Samberg. Some would argue SNL made Justin Timberlake the star that he is today.
While people always knew that he could sing and dance, on SNL he really stretched his legs as an actor and comedian. He has the show to thank for his equally impressive acting career.
So, while most of the cast members that he used to do a lot of work with have gone on to bigger and better things — besides Kenan Thompson who lives on set — Timberlake is always going to be remembered as one of the best examples of a triple threat. He could’ve been a cast member. He holds the record for the most times co-hosted (with Jimmy Fallon).
9. Chevy Chase
While he hasn’t hosted in years, Chevy Chase was a mainstay of the show that made him famous during its first amazing season way back in 1975. The biggest star of that season, Chase left after the first year to start what was an amazing movie career at one point.
While he is now one of the least liked people in Hollywood, he has been an amazing comedic mind his entire life. It’s hard not to excuse some of his D-bag behavior. The first host of Weekend Update, he’s returned to host eight times.
He is one of the main alumni on the five-timers club as he typically shows up when they induct new members. He likes to crack jokes and share a drink or five during the ceremonies. And while he hasn’t hosted since 1997, he has cameoed in recent years.
Though he was replaced by Bill Murray on the show and in many people’s hearts, he will always be a legend thanks to his roles in the Vacation movies and on Community — one of the best sitcoms of all time.
8. Bill Murray
Few people are as synonymous with Saturday Night Live as Bill Murray. He is often thought to be one of the original cast members and while he may as well have been, he actually had the unenviable task of taking over for Chevy Chase after he bailed on the show after its first massive season.
To any person that could’ve been a death sentence but Bill Murray has been proven over and over again that he is no ordinary human being. He’s a legend for many things and one of the main things is that he’s extremely particular. He apparently only gets offers for film roles through an answering machine attached to a 1-800 number that he also only checks a few times a year.
So, it’s surprising that they got a hold of him at all. While his best work has been away from the show, he’s still known as one of the godfathers of SNL and American sketch comedy. While he doesn’t crack our top-five, he only doesn’t because he wouldn’t want to and who are we to not respect the assumed wishes of Bill Murray.
7. Paul Simon
If Millennials know of Paul Simon it’s through his music. So many would be surprised to know that Paul Simon was actually a mainstay on the show through the late 70’s and early 90’s. Apparently, some early fans of the show didn’t even know he was a singer, too. One of his music videos even co-starred Chevy Chase.
Simon was the Justin Timberlake before Justin Timberlake, showing that while he may be one of the best songwriters in American History he’s also a pretty great actor and comedian. While he’s shown up to induct members to the Five-Timers club recently, it’s actually a shame that they haven’t had him back to host since the turn of the millennium.
6. Steve Martin
Another five-timer that was so synonymous with the show that people used to think he was a cast member himself is Steve Martin. The comedian is probably the biggest go-to guy when they need to induct someone more than anyone — besides Alec Baldwin and John Goodman, one of whom is essentially a cast member at this point.
Martin’s stand-up — and banjo playing — may not be for everyone but there is little denying that he’s a legend and that he’s been part of some of the greatest films of all time, namely Planes, Trains and Automobiles where he starred alongside the late, great John Candy.
He hasn’t been as active in film or television in recent years and that’s hurt his total. He used to be tied with Alec Baldwin with 15 total hosting gigs. But considering he hasn’t aged since the early 80’s, there’s still plenty of gas left in the tank for him to catch up.
5. John Goodman
When you think of the best type of actor to host Saturday Night Live you don’t really think of an amazing character actor mostly known for drama work but that’s exactly what John Goodman does best. So it’s sort of crazy that he’s been the host of the show so many times.
Or rather, that’s what he’s done most for the past 20 years or so. The bulk of his hosting duties came when he was on Roseanne — a sitcom — and also back when he was affiliated with the Blues Brothers — after the unfortunate passing of John Belushi.
Goodman is an amazing actor whose career seems to be getting better with age. His ability to play almost any type of character has helped him stay at the top of his game in film for the longest time.And it’s also why he’s such a great host. So, hopefully they’ll get him back as host soon so he can catch up to Steve Martin!
4. Christopher Walken
Another amazing character actor, Christopher Walken is considered one of the best actors in his generation back before his voice became the go-to favorite of many impressionists and also sort of a caricature of itself about 10 years ago.
Perhaps more than anyone else on this list, Walken has the best go-to sketch when he hosts. Filmed from the first person perspective, ‘The Continental’ may not play as well in this post-Weinstein world. It basically showed a woman attempting to escape the apartment of the world’s classiest creep after she’d left something behind (like a glove, for example).
It’s classic Walken and classic SNL and while he gets points for that, as it’s been a reoccurring sketch, he is perhaps most well known for his role in the super famous “Cowbell Sketch” in which he stated that when he’s done with “Blue Oyster Cult” they’ll all be wearing “Gold Plated Diapers.” What does that even mean, indeed.
3. Tom Hanks
Another amazing character actor, Tom Hanks is perhaps the most beloved comedian of all time. While he’s focused mainly on dramatic work since the early-to-mid 1990’s he actually cut his teeth as a comedic actor in most of the 80’s with television shows like Bosom Buddies and films like Bachelor Party, The ‘Burbs, Turner and Hooch and Big.
He’s also hosted the show perhaps more consistently than anyone outside of Alec Baldwin. He’s always all-in to do whatever he needs to for a sketch with one major exception. His most famous sketch is from his most recent stint hosting the show as David S. Pumpkins, the confusing level(s) on the 100 Floors of Flights ride at Universal Studios.
Hanks admitted that he didn’t really get the sketch and even tried to push it off on the host that was coming the next week after his show. He should probably thank his lucky…. Pumpkins that he didn’t. The sketch blew up and resulted in another cameo as well as its own cartoon special. Any questions?
2. Alec Baldwin
While everyone loves Tom Hanks, there’s no denying that Alec Baldwin is the king of SNL and it’s sort of surprising that he is as he’s never really been known to be a comedic actor, or at least wasn’t until very, very recently.
He’s actually had the opposite career of people like Hanks and Goodman. He started out with a ton of dramatic and even action roles — The Hunt for Red October — and really only started doing comedies after he starred in the SNL-related show 30 Rock with Tina Fey.
Considering he’s hosted the show nearly 20 times, perhaps Hollywood should’ve put him in comedies sooner; he’s clearly born to be in them. He will probably end up being most remembered for his most recent role on the show: none other than President Donald Trump himself.
While some don’t find the impression to be good, he has won many accolades for his role as the President — including an Emmy this year. That should solidify his record as the host with the most… hosting gigs forever. Good for him.
1. Melissa McCarthy
The most recent member of this list and the biggest threat to catch Alec Baldwin’s number of appearances, Melissa McCarthy appears to have been born to star on Saturday Night Live. It really makes you wonder if she ever auditioned for the show.
The only woman on the list won an Emmy for her work on the show in 2016-17, playing Sean Spicer — the former Press Secretary for President Donald Trump and the biggest boon to Saturday Night Live since Chris Farley. Ironically, McCarthy catapulted to fame thanks to her role in a Saturday Night Live-affiliated film, Bridesmaids.
Her role was so amazing that she was nominated for an Academy Award. She’s so good right now that she will probably be a host each season for the next 10 to 15 years. Baldwin better watch out, she might steal the show.