Worst SNL Hosts of All Time

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The sketch-comedy show “Saturday Night Live” has been a television institution on late Saturday night since 1975, making it one of the longest-running shows in American television history.

One of the features of the program has been the guest host. SNL has had a different guest host every week. Over the course of 46 years, SNL has had many guest hosts with varying degrees of success. Some have hit the mark and been brought back. Others were not as successful, and some were even so difficult to work with that they were banned from the show.

To determine the worst SNL hosts of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed audience ratings and other data for all “Saturday Night Live” episodes from the Internet Movie Database. SNL hosts were ranked based on an index composed of two elements: the average IMDb user rating for all episodes hosted by a guest and the total number of episodes hosted by that guest. 

Guest hosts have been comedians, singers, politicians, future presidents, sports figures, actors and reality-show stars. When a guest host clicks, it’s usually because he or she is able to poke fun at themselves, is on the same page with the comedy troupe, and enjoys the process of doing sketch comedy. (SNL is also among the most popular shows at the 2021 Emmy Awards.)

Sometimes a guest host doesn’t have the best comedy material to work with, and if they aren’t primarily a comedy performer, they don’t have the ability to save a sketch. But there have been cringeworthy guest hosts who have been their own worst enemy. (Speaking of poor performances, these are the worst TV series finales of all time.)

One failure occurred in July 1976, when Emmy-nominated actor Louise Lasser tried pushing the artistic boundaries of television with an experimental performance that fell flat. 

Reality-television star Paris Hilton failed at every sketch she was in. The entitled-heiress also antagonized the show’s cast.

Business and future president Donald J. Trump appeared twice on “Saturday Night Live” and balked at sketches that poked fun at him. 

Since its beginning, “Saturday Night Live” has taken chances with its programming, and picking the guest host has always been a part of what keeps the show relevant.

To determine the worst SNL hosts of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed audience ratings and other data for all Saturday Night Live episodes from the Internet Movie Database. SNL hosts were ranked based on an index composed of two elements: the average IMDb user rating for all episodes hosted by a guest and the total number of episodes hosted by that guest. Average user ratings were calculated using the number of user votes as a weight. While the average user rating for each host was given full weight in the index, the number of episodes hosted by each guest was given a half-weighting. IMDb ratings data was collected on Dec. 29, 2021.