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13 "Saturday Night Live" Hosts Who Understood The Assignment, And 13 Hosts Who Missed The Mark

Kim Kardashian was surprisingly funny.

1. Nailed it: Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian in a curly wig during a Powerball sketch
Rosalind O'Connor / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Kim Kardashian (West?) hosted the second episode of Saturday Night Live's 47th season. Fans were surprised at how well the reality TV star navigated the daunting hosting duties. She was praised for delivering a roast of her family during her monologue and even held her own during the sketches!

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2. Bombed: Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton with Jimmy Fallon on Weekend Update
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Paris Hilton's turn hosting SNL proved comedy isn't for everyone. Most of her sketches fell super flat, and her monologue relied more on the cuteness of her dog than telling good jokes. 

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3. Nailed it: Donald Glover

Donald Glover in a court room sketch
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Donald Glover did a brilliant job as the host and musical guest of SNL. There were quite a few memorable sketches from his debut, including the A Quiet Place spoof titled "A Kanye Place" and a Star Wars sketch titled "Lando’s Summit."

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4. Bombed: Tom Brady

Tom Brady delivering his monologue alongside the cast of "SNL"
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Tom Brady might be the greatest quarterback of all time, but he's certainly not the greatest SNL host. There were a few notable sketches, but overall, Brady should stick to tossing footballs. 

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5. Nailed it: Emma Stone

Leslie Jones, Emma Stone, and Cecily Strong in a Christmas sketch
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Emma Stone first hosted SNL in 2010. Naturally, she killed the hosting gig and has hosted multiple times since. She even impersonated Gilda Radner on Weekend Update during the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special

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6. Bombed: Adrien Brody

Adrian Brody wearing a light-colored shirt and long ponytail in a sketch
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Adrien Brody is one of the most infamous hosts to date. He is banned from appearing on the program due to going rogue and improvising an introduction for Jamaican reggae musical guest Sean Paul while wearing faux dreadlocks...yikes.  

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7. Nailed it: John Goodman

John Goodman singing with Keenan Thompson
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John Goodman is one of the best hosts to date and has hosted the show 12 times! He played the Church Lady's mother and famously impersonated Linda Tripp

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8. Bombed: Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence next to an enthusiastic person during a sketch
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Martin Lawrence was, at one point, banned from appearing on NBC after hosting Saturday Night Live. While comedians normally nail their monologue, Lawrence went off script and ranted about the personal hygiene of women. The infamous monologue has been wiped from reruns. Instead, a title card reads, “At this point in his monologue, Martin begins a commentary on what he considers the decline in standards of feminine hygiene in this country. Although we at Saturday Night Live take no stand on this issue one way or the other, network policy prevents us from re-broadcasting this portion of his remarks.”

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9. Nailed it: Alec Baldwin

Ana Gasteyer as Margaret Jo McCullin, Alec Baldwin as Pete Schwetty, Molly Shannon as Terry Rialto during 'The Delicious Dish' skit
Mary Ellen Matthews / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

With 17 appearances as host, Alec Baldwin holds the record for the most times hosting Saturday Night Live. Although he's most recognized for his Donald Trump impression, he also played hilarious original characters like Pete Schweddy and Winter's Breath

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10. Bombed: Rudy Giuliani

Tina Fey, Rudy Giuliani, and Jimmy Fallon on Weekend Update
Dana Edelson / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani's bizarre hosting job focused mostly on sketches making fun of himself and New York City. He even donned a dress and played an Italian grandmother in "Rita Delvecchio's Thanksgiving." Overall, the episode was unnecessary. If people wanted to watch corrupt politicians on TV, they'd turn on the news instead of a satirical comedy program. 

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11. Nailed it: Tiffany Haddish

Tiffany Haddish crossing through the background of Weekend Update in a white gown
Will Heath / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Tiffany Haddish became the long-overdue first black female stand-up comic to host Saturday Night Live when she hosted in 2017. She absolutely crushed her opening monologue and talked about her role in Girls Trip, growing up in foster care, and rewearing her expensive red carpet dresses. 

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12. Bombed: Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber delivering his SNL monologue
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Bieber hosted SNL in 2013, but his performance and behavior were not well received by the cast. Bill Hader was asked about the worst-behaved guest during an episode of Watch What Happens Live, and he responded, "It was Bieber. Yeah, Bieber, he just was in a bad place. Maybe he's in a better place. But then, it was rough."

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13. Nailed it: Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig in the baby hands sketch
NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

It's no surprise Melissa McCarthy was a hilarious host. The physical comedy in her monologue alone earned her a spot on this list. She's a member of the exclusive Five-Timers Club and earned Emmy nominations for each time she hosted. McCarthy took home an Emmy for her portrayal of Sean Spicer in 2017.

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14. Bombed: Steven Seagal

Steven Seagal seated across from Chris Farley in a living room
Alan Singer / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank

Even Lorne Michaels thinks Steven Seagal bombed his hosting duties on SNL. The action star appeared to be underwhelmed and fumbled through his monologue and sketches. David Spade recalled Seagal's episode on Literally! With Rob Lowe, "He wouldn’t play at all, and then in the other sketches, he was fighting us.” 

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15. Nailed it: Carrie Fisher

Gilda Radnor and Carrie Fisher in bikinis
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Carrie Fisher is Saturday Night Live royalty. She originally hosted in 1978 with the Blues Brothers as the musical guest. Fisher was a great sport, even playing Princess Leia during a beach sketch. 

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16. Bombed: January Jones

January Jones with Bobby Moynihan and Jason Sudeikis
Dana Edelson / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

January Jones relied too heavily on parodying her role as Betty Draper in Mad Men on SNL. Additionally, she asked for cues multiple times and seemed to be ill equipped for sketch comedy in general. 

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17. Nailed it: Drew Barrymore

7-year-old Drew Barrymore with the cast of "SNL"
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Seven-year-old Drew Barrymore was the youngest person to ever host SNL. The episode was adorably hilarious from start to finish, and she naturally was asked to host again and again, landing her a coveted spot in the Five-Timers Club.

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18. Bombed: Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey delivering an "SNL" monologue with Kate McKinnon as Justin Bieber
NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

WWE star Ronda Rousey is a force to be reckoned with in the ring, but unfortunately overacted her way through every sketch when she hosted in 2016. In her defense, she wasn't given many lines and played mostly flat characters throughout the episode. 

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19. Nailed it: Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks as doctor, Jon Lovitz as doctor, Victoria Jackson as mother, Dana Carvey as father during the 'Delivery Room' skit
Raymond Bonar / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank

With 10 hosting appearances under his belt, national treasure Tom Hanks is an expert at hosting SNL at this point. After all this time, he continues to dazzle audiences in sketches like "Black Jeopardy" and as David S. Pumpkins in "Haunted Elevator."

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20. Bombed: Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong playing a park ranger in a sketch
Dana Edelson / NBCU Photo Bank

Long before a doping scandal stripped Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France titles, the cyclist hosted Saturday Night Live. He came across as cocky by denying cheating allegations that he would later confirm in an Oprah Winfrey interview

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21. Nailed it: Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande doing vocal impressions in front of Keenan Thompson and Jay Pharoh
Dana Edelson / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Ariana Grande did double duty as both the host and musical guest on SNL. She went above and beyond, impersonating other musicians like Celine Dion, Shakira, Whitney Houston, and Rihanna in a "Tidal" sketch. Grande was also praised for her Jennifer Lawrence impression in “Celebrity Family Feud.

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22. Bombed: Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase on stage with the cast of "SNL"
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Chevy Chase was the star of SNL when it debuted in the '70s, so it's shocking how poorly he performed as a host. Before his episode in 1978 filmed, Chase infamously got into a physical fight with Bill Murray, his replacement when he departed from the show. His final hosting job in 1997 got him banned from ever hosting again after a violent outburst where he slapped Cheri Oteri in the back of the head during a dress rehearsal. 

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23. Nailed it: Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon doing the "Barry Gibbs Talk Show"
Dana Edelson / NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Justin Timberlake proved to have some major comedy chops as a Saturday Night Live host. He has gone on to host a total of five times and even has recurring characters like dancing mascot guy and Robin Gibb. And who could forget his iconic performance with Andy Samberg in the "D*** in a Box" music video?!

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24. Bombed: Elon Musk

Elon Musk playing a doctor in a "Gen Z Hospital" sketch
Will Heath / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

There were a lot of confused reactions from fans when it was announced Elon Musk would be hosting SNL. Musk gave it his all, but it was a mostly awkward and out-of-touch performance. The sketch "Gen Z Hospital," where Elon portrays a doctor, particularly bombed and faced criticism online for the use of lingo derived from AAVE. 

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25. Nailed it: Steve Martin

Steve Martin delivering a monologue
Dana Edelson / NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

This list is not complete without Steve Martin, who has hosted SNL 15 times in addition to appearing as a guest five times. He left an iconic mark on the series with characters like Jorge Festrunk in "Two Wild and Crazy Guys," King Tut, and the medieval barber Theodoric

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26. And finally, bombed: Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps skipping in a locker room during a sketch
Dana Edelson / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Michael Phelps was like a fish out of water throughout his SNL episode in 2008. While he was generally a good sport, he came off as uncomfortable in the majority of his sketches. It's hard to fault Phelps for not acing the role of host, as I'm sure he spends more time practicing laps in the pool than comedy.

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Did we miss any iconic SNL hosts? Let us know your favorite and least favorite hosts in the comment section below!

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