Over the weekend Lainey and I got into a conversation about fantasy hosts for SNL. People who might actually make it bearable. I said my fantasy host would be Louis CK, but he’s my fantasy host for everything. And honestly, I can’t see him doing a show like SNL because I’m not sure he could concede enough authority to the writers. Louis is always very involved with everything about his comedy, so to go on SNL, where he wouldn’t have much control, I don’t know if he could manage that. Lainey’s fantasy host was Tiger Woods, which is a really, really good idea. Unfortunately, I don’t think Tiger can laugh at himself so I doubt that happens, too.
Of course, if you’ve seen SNL this season you know why we were talking about fantasy hosts—because all the hosts thus far have been disappointing. Hugh Jackman hijacked Ben Stiller’s episode with one sketch. This weekend it was Anna Faris’s turn and though she wasn’t completely horrible - she’s a good enough comedienne to succeed on SNL - musical guest Drake still made a better impression in just two sketches than Faris did, who had the opportunity to own the whole show and didn’t. Rather, Faris’ SNL appearance was eerily like her career over the last few years—promising at the start but disappointing in the end.
SNL really needs some new blood. And I don’t mean new writers or performers, but new blood at the top. I’ve long believed Lorne Michaels has lost his touch and doesn’t really know what’s funny anymore. Faris’s show is proof of that. She is a smart, good comedienne who can do physical comedy. Yet her opening monologue was limited to fake questions from the audience (always a sign they couldn’t come up with anything better) that was capped off by an Anna Faris impersonator bonding with the real Faris. Is this really the best?
I really think it would take some outrageous hosting gigs like Louis CK or Tiger Woods to inspire better material. But that is only one facet of the problem. Another helpful hint: put Andy Samberg in charge. At this point, his Digital Shorts are the only consistently-funny bits on SNL. A group of the (supposedly) best comedy writers and comics was unable to come up with anything to do justice to a genuinely funny performer. It’s time for SNL to get a face lift. Who would you like to see hosting?