7-Year-Old Drew Barrymore Wasn’t Nervous Hosting ‘SNL’ — Until She Met Robin Williams

The youngest host ever got to meet Mork from Ork
7-Year-Old Drew Barrymore Wasn’t Nervous Hosting ‘SNL’ — Until She Met Robin Williams

Drew Barrymore pumped her fist this week as she remembered her first time hosting Saturday Night Live. “Still the youngest host, yes!” Indeed, six-time host Barrymore was only seven years old when she fronted a show that doesn’t even start until 11:30 p.m., surely a violation of a child labor law somewhere. The show knew it, peppering its open with social worker jokes and lamenting the night’s lack of sex sketches. Of course, Barrymore did a lot of things as a child that were pretty adult, including checking into rehab at age 13. But that’s another story, one not nearly as fun as the precocious E.T. star staying up late to crack wise with Tim Kazurinsky. 

Barrymore claims she wasn’t nervous about hosting a 90-minute sketch comedy show as a child. She delivered punchlines like a pro, like when Kazurinksy asked if she wanted a glass of milk. "Milk?” asked the incredulous kid. “I’m a Barrymore — get me a drink and make it a double." (Hmmm — maybe the SNL story isn’t as far off from her later troubles as it seems.)

Barrymore wasn’t flustered answering audience questions on live television for her opening monologue. What was it like meeting E.T.? “At first I thought he was gushy but then I got used to him.” Video games? “I love video games. If someone says I can go to the arcade? Terrific!” Are you ever going to get married? Not yet knowing about the existence of Tom Green, Barrymore predicted she would marry “Steven” — that’s E.T. director Spielberg to you and me.

But one thing that happened that night did make Barrymore anxious. As she told Zelda Williams this week on The Drew Barrymore Show, “I wasn’t nervous until your dad came, and then I got nervous.” Zelda’s dad, of course, is the late comic Robin Williams. “I got the privilege of meeting him for the first time when I was 7 in 1982. (Future husband) Steven Spielberg brought him to Saturday Night Live that I was hosting.” 

“He’s so wonderful and he has put so much beauty into this world. And he means so much to people.” That includes a certain seven-year-old, for whom meeting Mork from Ork was a much bigger deal than starring in a sketch with Joe Piscopo. 


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