A few times per season, Saturday Night Live picks someone to be both the host and musical guest of a given episode, and let me tell you, whenever they do this I always know we’re in for a wild ride. Some of my all-time favorite hosts of the NBC sketch show have been those who take on double duty. I think musicians thrive on SNL because they are able to use their stage presence and experience performing live to their advantage and charm the audience during both the sketches and the musical portions of the show.
While there are many musicians that haven’t done double duty yet, there are many who have, and who should 100% do it again. So, here’s a list of 10 musicians we’d love to see return as both hosts and musical guests on Saturday Night Live.
I feel like at this point, it’s just commonly understood that Justin Timberlake is one of the best SNL hosts of all time. The popstar and former NSYNC member has proven this simply by the number of times he’s been asked back to Saturday Night Live (I mean he is a member of the exclusive five-timers club).
He’s been also in some of the most classic sketches of the last 20 years, in my opinion. Two of his best sketches have been staples in the SNL primetime Christmas special for years now. One is “Bring it on Down to Wrappinville,” where Timberlake gets into the holiday spirit with his pal Jimmy Fallon while rapping dressed as gift wrap. His other classic holiday sketch comes by way of an SNL Digital Short with Andy Samberg, hilariously titled “Dick in a Box.” This song was one of the first times I saw Samberg’s musical talents, and Timberlake’s silky vocals just added to the quality production and absurd lyrics of the now classic holiday song.
So, even though the “Sexy Back” singer has helmed SNL many, many times, another go-around would be more than welcome.
Donald Glover/Childish Gambino
Donald Glover is quite possibly the perfect person to be both the host and musical guest. Not only is Glover a legendary comedic actor because of his work on Community and his own show, Atlanta, he’s also an accomplished musician who goes by the name Childish Gambino. It’s honestly kind of hard for me to believe that Glover has only hosted SNL once, but that one time was iconic.
Throughout Glover’s whole episode he showed that he would be a perfectly capable full-time cast member (fun fact, he actually did audition but didn’t make the cut) on SNL. If you haven’t seen any of Glover’s iconic sketches, do yourself a favor and either watch the Jurassic World “Courtroom” sketch or the “Barbie Instagram” sketch and you’ll immediately be hoping that the Community star comes back to SNL ASAP.
While most people connect Ariana Grande to SNL because of her ex, Pete Davidson, let us not forget the comedic genius she brought to the show. Over the years the “thank u, next” singer has brought her pipes to the SNL stage, but in 2019 she got to show off her acting skills and absolutely wow the crowd with her impressions.
On both SNL and The Tonight Show, Grande has impersonated pop queens like Cher, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Her singing impressions have become so well known, Celine Dion herself even reacted to the Sweetener singer’s impression of her. And she doesn’t just do singing impressions, she also impersonates actresses like Jennifer Lawrence, and she has played hilarious original characters as well.
With Grande playing a massive role in Wicked, she’ll hopefully be back to host and sing a few songs, too, on the classic comedy show sometime soon.
Now let’s talk about someone who recently hosted SNL. I remember being shocked when I learned the young pop sensation Billie Eilish would be doing double duty as part of SNL’s 47th Season. For an artist who, up until that moment, was known for her deep and dark music I was curious to see how she’d do on the show, and she absolutely killed it.
I always find it incredibly endearing when people on SNL break. Eilish was trying so hard to not crack up throughout her episode, especially when she was sharing the screen with Kate McKinnon, like in the “Hotel Ad” sketch.
Eilish is also an incredibly talented musician (I mean she’s won so many Grammys, and an Oscar) so it’s always a treat whenever she comes on to perform her music. Hopefully, she’ll come back soon, because she’s on the list of hosts who aren’t actors who absolutely nailed the gig.
Talk about coming out of left field. Jack Harlow wasn’t even on my radar as someone who would thrive hosting SNL, but he did and I really hope he comes back soon. I remember watching his first ad, and his hilarious Halloween joke made me realize he was born to host and bring the music to Studio 8H.
One of his best sketches was “AA Meeting” where the rapper played a man in AA who decided to pitch his animated movie about luggage to the group instead of talking about his addiction. It’s a hilarious sketch that showed off Harlow’s ability to commit to a bit, which is something he did fearlessly throughout the episode.
So, on top of Harlow’s impeccable ability to create amazing live renditions of his songs, his comedic timing makes him perfect to do double duty again.
Lizzo’s charisma and sense of humor bring me so much joy, and to see her bring that to the SNL stage in Season 47 of SNL was an absolute delight. Watching her episode you could just tell she was having the time of her life, and it was an added bonus that we not only got her as host, but we also got to see her perform a few of her best songs live.
One of my favorite things about musicians doing double duty is when the cast and writers use the host’s musical abilities to their advantage. For example, it’s not every day you get a host who can masterfully play the flute. Naturally, they used Lizzo’s skills as a flutist and dancer to create one of my favorite sketches where she tries to join an “Orchestra” but can’t play her instrument unless she’s twerking.
Even though Lizzo admitted she was nervous about hosting, I thought she was a natural and 100% original, which is why I really hope she returns to the SNL stage soon.
Chance the Rapper
“Let’s do that hockey,” is one of my favorite lines to come out of SNL in recent years. Chance the Rapper was playing a basketball announcer who was forced to cover a hockey game, and he had absolutely no idea what was going on. His comedic timing was impeccable, and I’d love to see the rapper reprise his role as the clueless sports announcer sometime soon.
On top of the aforementioned sketch, Chance the Rapper also starred in other hilarious sketches like “Judge Barry” where he played a judge who only takes 10 seconds to make a verdict, and “Spooky Song,” where the musician played a ghost who is forced to rap about the embarrassing way he died.
Here’s hoping that the next time Chance the Rapper releases more music, he comes back to do double duty on SNL.
Harry Styles has been the musical guest on SNL a whopping five times, both with One Direction and solo, but he’s only hosted once. In many of these cases, even though he wasn’t hosting, he would always pop up in a sketch or two and absolutely kill, for example, like in Paul Rudd’s Once Direction sketch that’s so iconic. Then in 2019, when Fine Line came out he hosted and provided the tunes for the night, he did such a good job.
The “As It Was” singer has one of my all-time favorite monologues, where he brings his charisma from his tour to the SNL stage to mess with the crowd, play some music, and make everybody swoon.
Hopefully, with Harry’s House still being a relatively new album and his flourishing acting career, Styles will be back to host SNL and rock the audience’s socks off for a sixth time.
While Swift made an appearance in Season 47 to play the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” she hasn’t hosted since 2009, so I think it’s safe to say she’s on a short list of hosts we’d love to see on SNL again soon. What further proved the need for her to come back was when she was featured in a Please Don’t Destroy sketch last year where she and Pete Davidson roast the “Three Sad Virgins.”
Over the years Swift has appeared in many different movies, and she has created fun music videos that show off her sense of humor for many of her singles. Since it’s been over ten years since the last time she hosted, she has a whole arsenal of new music and stories to pull from for sketches and I just know they’d be amazing.
It’s been a minute since we’ve seen Bruno Mars on SNL. The Silk Sonic member appeared as a musical guest and host back in 2013. And he absolutely killed it, between his musical monologue, digital shorts like “Sad Mouse,” and the cameo-filled sketch, “The Maryville Brothers: Haunted Castle.”
He’s also one of my all-time favorite musicians to watch live. Seeing him and his band dance on stage is so fun, and he always gives a performance that makes you want to stand up and clap at the end. His on-stage charisma definitely rubbed off on his performances throughout the sketches, and I’d love to see him helm the show, while also performing a couple of bops again.
Hopefully, we’ll get a few more double-duty hosts during Season 48, and who knows, maybe one of these ten will come back to the show. If you are interested in watching any of these ten artists on SNL, or you want to keep up with the classic sketch show’s latest season, you can stream Saturday Night Live with DIRECTV.
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