After over 40 years, Saturday Night Live has been hosted by hundreds of celebrities and has featured just as many musical guests. While it would be next to impossible to pick out the best SNL host, there have been many notable milestones, starting with George Carlin being the very first host in 1975 to Drew Barrymore becoming the youngest SNL host at age seven (she hosted again as an adult in 1999.) But since looking at the show’s entire history would be too much for both our staff and readers alike, let’s keep it recent. Here are, in no particular order, the five best SNL hosts of 2015.
5. Chris Hemsworth: Many a woman probably got excited at the prospect of The Mighty Thor playing a male stripper, but the actor subverted expectations—and showed his comedy chops—by playing a dancer more concerned about the wrong kind of exposure, among other roles.
4. Tracy Morgan: The return of Tracy Morgan (especially after his near-death accident) meant not only an emotional comeback, but also the return of his classic characters. The show wisely chose to play up the nostalgia angle while finding time to take a shot at some of the current presidential candidates.
3. Ryan Gosling: Gosling’s time as host was notable for two things. One was playing up his being Canadian in the opening monologue, which even featured a guest appearance from SNL alum Mike Myers. The other is something which even the best SNL hosts are guilty of: breaking into laughter during a skit.
2. Amy Schumer: Ironically, Schumer’s sketch comedy show beat SNL at the Emmys, but at least it showed she deserved to be one of the best SNL hosts this year! Her opening addressed the very important topic of women in Hollywood. She then strengthened (or perhaps hurt?) her point by playing a porn star who teaches algebra to at least one eager student. The cheesy porno-inspired sketch was hard not to laugh at.
1. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler: The two most recent hosts may also be the best. Far from being the youngest SNL hosts—remember, they used to be on the cast themselves—the two hosted the holiday episode and it was the funniest in a long time. Fey and Poehler also brought back their fan-favorite renditions of Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton to remind fans of the show why they are missed. Together, they’re our top pick for the best SNL host for 2015.