'SNL's' Five-Timers Club: Alec Baldwin, Justin Timberlake Share Tales of Hosting Five (or More) Times
John Goodman admits to still being drunk the following morning, while Ben Affleck reflects on the show's cultural impact: "I would not be the same man if it were not for 'Dick in a Box.'"
This story first appeared in the Feb. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Alec Baldwin (hosted 16 times)
"SNL started before the Internet, but it has been, with regularity, as timely as a blog post. Its roots are vaudeville: jokes and music, followed by more jokes and music. The show became an institution by emulating other institutions and doing it well."
John Goodman (13)
"I love that the show doesn't go on at 11:30 because it's done already; it goes on because it starts at 11:30. There's a huge adrenaline rush to hosting. I was hooked. My first time, I think I was still drunk on the flight home to L.A. the next morning, and I was singing the 'Toonces the Cat' theme at the top of my lungs."
Chevy Chase (8)
"There's that wonderful little thing called 'Weekend Update.' God, I loved writing those jokes. Last year or the year before, I asked Lorne if I could host again, and he said no. He was at my house at my daughter's wedding, and he said, 'You're too old.' But I knew what he meant when I watched and realized the generation up there — everyone is in their 30s, like we were when I was doing the show."
Tom Hanks (8)
"The music performances alone have always been signposts for where we are as a culture. And how many times has something happened in the news during the week, and you thought, 'Oooh, I can't wait to see what SNL's going to do with this.' "
Christopher Walken (7)
"It's a national institution, a national treasure. I did some movies a few years ago, and I literally went around the world. Hotels from Los Angeles to Australia and Asia and Europe and back, and no matter when you turned on the TV, there was SNL."
Drew Barrymore (6)
"Also as a fan, you feel like it's a personal relationship you have with the cast. Someone graduates from the show, you're like, 'Well, now how am I going to feel about the show? I got so attached to those people!' But then a new crop comes in and you get really excited. Also, by Saturday night, everybody has had enough of their life — they need to laugh, they need to escape, they need that goodness. And for me, the closing shot, when everyone is onstage at the end, is still very tearjerking."
Danny DeVito (6)
"And no matter what schmuck is on that mark onstage, dress rehearsal is the test. The best advice for any host is: Concentrate on the popcorn in Lorne's office."
Elliott Gould (6)
"There's so much energy there. What so many generations of people have had on their minds politically is based on what they saw on SNL."
Ben Affleck (5)
"SNL is the only live thing left, other than theater. Even when you watch something on YouTube, someone took their time and uploaded it when they thought it was right. But with SNL, millions of people can watch something live. And when you introduce really talented writers, every once in a while you get 'Dick in a Box.' I would not be the same man were it not for 'Dick in a Box.' "
Candice Bergen (5)
"I never asked Lorne why he chose me to host, but I was just so comfortable in that context. Maybe because when it first started, it was really magical. You would perceive the power of TV the day after the show. Chevy Chase became a household name by the second or third week. You felt the atmosphere shift."
Justin Timberlake (5)
"Whether it's in the monologue or the rest of the show, for a host, SNL is the one place to go to be self-deprecating. That goes miles with the audience. My favorite sketch I ever did may be 'Immigrant Tale.' And If you count up the jokes, it's 20-to-1 me making jokes about myself."
Paul Simon (4 as host, 8 as musical guest)
"It's always appealed to all ages. People still ask me all the time about the turkey-costume sketch and the one where I'm standing in line at the movie theater. What they ask totally depends on how old they are."
THR.com will be rolling out SNL-related content from THR's special issue leading up to NBC's 40th anniversary broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 15. Keep checking back for more.