Saturday Night Live: Power Ranking The 36 Musical Guests That Were Also Hosts Updated 10/30/22
Jack Harlow joined Lizzo, Meghan Thee Stallion, and 33 others in some rare company this weekend, becoming one of the handful of SNL guests who has done double duty as both the host and featured musical act. It’s a lot to juggle and some have done it better (much better) than others. Here’s ComedyNerd’s power ranking of the 36 SNL double-duty hosts.
Justin Bieber”I really didn’t enjoy having Justin Bieber around,” says notorious nice guy Bill Hader. Most musical guests aren’t quite the divas you’d expect “with the exception of Bieber. He’s the only one who lived up to the reputation.”
Frank ZappaZappa makes many “Worst SNL Host Ever” lists, telling the audience he was reading cue cards during his monologue and basically giving Lorne the middle finger with his ‘whatever’ sleepwalk through the show. Allegedly on the unofficial “banned for life” list.
Elton JohnWe’re fans, but maybe sketch comedy just isn’t his thing. Can anybody guess where the cue cards are positioned?
LudacrisLet’s just say he’s better in the Fast and Furious franchise than he was doing late-night sketch comedy.
Nick JonasMaybe one of his brothers is funnier? We can never remember which one is which.
Ray CharlesWhere Ray falls on the list depends on how you like your comedy/music ratio. Charles performed five times
Desi ArnazDesi was pretty long in the tooth for a hosting gig, though his “I Love Lucy” sketch with Gilda Radner was worth a watch. For his musical numbers, he teamed up with his son, Desi Jr.
Janet JacksonDespite her sitcom past on Good Times and Diff’rent Strokes, Jackson is pretty subdued as a comedy performer. This one kills us anyway.
Olivia Newton-JohnShe shows up in only one mediocre sketch in the edited Peacock version, so it’s hard to judge for people whose memories of 1982 are a little fuzzy.
The Rolling StonesIn theory, the entire group hosted the show, although Mick was the primary participant in sketches. They didn’t even do the monologue, with Mayor Ed Koch doing the honors.
Deborah HarryShe hosted during the ugly Season 6, so there wasn’t a lot of funny happening for anyone that year. She did get to do her monologue with Eddie Murphy in Cupid boxer shorts.
Jack HarlowSay this for Harlow--he’s happy to be here, showing a goofy enthusiasm that unfortunately isn’t matched by a talent for sketch comedy. Bonus points for effort (and roping in Tom Hanks for a cameo).
MC HammerNot great at comedy. Not great at music. But a seemingly nice guy and despite this sketch, a killer haircut.
HalseyHalsey is … fine. Nothing embarrassing, solid work. We just can’t remember any of her sketches.
StingLots of points for not punching Rob Schneider in the face during this sketch, and for having the only name that makes a Richmeister sketch funny.
Billie EilishNot the world’s most gifted comic performer, but it’s undeniably hilarious when Kate McKinnon tries to make her break on live television.
Harry StylesFuture Marvel star Styles killed it as the sexually inappropriate social media manager for Sara Lee.
Bruno MarsThe electric Mars killed the music stuff, while his best comedy bit was the pre-taped Sad Mouse.
Lady GagaFeatured player John Milhiser never got much of a chance, but Lady Gaga’s best sketch was probably Milhiser’s career highlight as well.
Willy NelsonAnybody game for teaming up with Victoria Jackson is a hero in our book. Also hilarious getting accosted by the Church Lady.
Queen LatifahQueen Latifah is a musical guest who can actually act, so SNL uses her to good effect here. Don’t mess with the Equalizer.
Meghan Thee StallionIt took a while for SNL to diversify its cast, but it leaned even further away from old sensibilities when Meghan Thee Stallion came to town. This sketch isn’t even possible ten years earlier.
Garth BrooksGarth pulled double-duty twice, unless you believe Chris Gaines is a separate person. Pretty funny as a guy who would sell his soul to the devil -- if the devil was actually capable of writing a good love song.
Stevie WonderNot exactly a comedy genius, but a hit due to his rapport with Eddie Murphy. Eddie’s Stevie teaching the real Stevie how to sing like Stevie? Classic.
Blake SheltonOK, maybe Blake doesn’t have the most comic range in the world but if you play to his strengths, he kills it. Has there ever been a better music video parody that The Wishin’ Boot?
LizzoWhat Lizzo lacks in comedy acumen, she more than makes up for with “Damn, I’m happy to be here!” energy. Ironically, our favorite part was the cut-for-time sketch when Aidy Bizzo channeled her inner Lizzo.
Jennifer LopezTwo-time double-duty host JLo was destined to appear, if only to settle sh*t with Mango once and for all. Go divas go!
Britney SpearsBefore her family locked her down for a decade or two, Britney showed promise as a comic actress. She’s great as a butter churner at a colonial museum mixing it up with the Boston teens. Tommy, tell me you got that on camera.
DrakeThe pride of Degrassi: The Next Generation has multiple hosting gigs under his belt, including one double-duty night. He keeps getting asked back for a reason - here’s his hilarious L’il Wayne/Urkel hybrid.
Taylor SwiftShe did such a good job in her hosting stint that it’s weird she hasn’t been asked back. She did a funny cameo in a recent Please Don’t Destroy video, just to make our point.
Chance the RapperFor a guy with no acting credits, Chance usually kills it. Give us more of the frigid Knicks announcer forced to cover hockey.
Miley CyrusWe’re not exactly sure why we think this, but Miley seems to be a Lorne favorite. If it’s true, she’s earned it with great comic performances -- and a damn good ScarJo impression.
Mick JaggerMuch better on his solo stint than when the entire Rolling Stones hosted. Great bit with Jimmy Fallon to open the show, and he slow-danced with Kristen Wiig on her last show ever.
Ariana GrandeVictorious fans were aware of Ariana’s secret comedy chops, but who knew she was such a gifted mimic? OK, everybody by now, but this took us by surprise back in the day. Maybe this is what Tidal needed all along.
Paul SimonOne of Lorne’s best pals, Simon has shown up several times over the years, always game to make fun of himself. Dude’s still crazy after all these years.
Justin TimberlakeDick in a Box
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Top image: NBC