September 20, 2012

Guest Post: Daniel's Wishlist for New SNL Hosts for Season 38

Here's a new Guest Post from our Guest Blogger Daniel!  

Last week I really enjoyed reading this site's “SNL Host Wishlist”, and while I loved a lot of those choices (Stephen Colbert, Will Arnett, Ty Burrell, Elizabeth Banks, Mila Kunis, Aziz Ansari, and Mindy Kaling) I didn't love all of them (Ken Jeong). So I decided to make a list of people I thought was left off that list. And to be clear, these are not predictions of who will host, they are people I would like to see host.

1. John Krasinski
How you know him (notable works): The Office, Something Borrowed, Big Miracle, It’s Complicated, Leatherheads, Away We Go, Shrek The Third, Monsters Vs Aliens, Dreamgirls, License To Wed, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
John Krasinski has a very rare comedic skill; he can play the funny straight man. What most people don’t get about Krasinski’s performance as Jim Halpert on The Office is that while he doesn’t play as outrageous a character as Rainn Wilson's character Dwight or Brian Baumgartner’s character Kevin, Krasinski still injects a wonderful, charmingly confused yet sarcastic sense of humor to the show. Krasinski uses this same brand of somewhat subtle humor in most of the movies he appears in like It’s Complicated and Big Miracle. Krasinski is a very talented actor who has the ability to give a good performance in a mediocre movie like Leatherheads. Krasinski would also be a good choice because he is said to do impressions of the other cast members of The Office and impressions are always a good vehicle on SNL for hosts, especially if they mock someone the host knows really well. I have wanted him to host for quite some time now and thanks to The Office, Krasinski hosting has always been plausible. Now with Promised Land, a drama that Krasinski co-wrote and co-stars in with Matt Damon coming out in June, and The Office in their last season, it seems like a fantastic year for Krasinski to finally host.

2. Emily Blunt
How you know her (notable works): The Devil Wears Prada, The Adjustment Bureau, The Five-Year Engagement, Salmon Fishing In Yemen, Dan In Real Life, Charlie Wilson’s War, Your Sister’s Sister, The Young Victoria, Gulliver’s Travels, Gnomeo & Juliet, The Great Buck Howard, Sunshine Cleaning, The Muppets
That’s right, next on the list is the other half of my new favorite comedy power couple. (why did you have to break up Will and Amy?) In case you didn’t know, Krasinski and Blunt are married. Blunt would be a great host for a number of reasons. For one, she is very versatile. She is the kind of actress who would mesh very well with the cast and by that I mean she wouldn’t stand out as the host to someone who was watching SNL for the first time. She is also down to do anything, make any joke, do any voice, wear any costume, which is not something a lot of non-former cast members, female hosts are willing to do. Those two traits is what makes her The Devil Wears Prada co-star Anne Hathaway such a good host, the ability to fit in with the cast and do be willing to do anything. On top of that, while she is British, she has done flawless American accents in numerous movies (Dan In Real Life, Charlie Wilson’s War, Sunshine Cleaning, and The Great Buck Howard) and I imagine that she has a few other accents up her sleeve.

3. David Cross
How you know him (notable works): Arrested Development, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Mr. Show, Alvin And The Chipmunks, Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret, Megamind, Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 2, Running Wilde, Men In Black II, School For Scoundrels, Battle For Terra, Year One
Honestly, I’m kind of shocked the ubiquitous, comedic genius hasn’t hosted before what with Arrested Development, the Chipmunk movies, and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. I don’t know how else to describe Cross but hilarious. Yes, I’ve heard that both his short-lived TV shows, Running Wilde and The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret were both hilariously funny (especially the latter) and he has a wonderfully distinct voice that he has lent to many animation movies (Megamind, Kung Fu Panda’s 1 and 2 and Battle For Terra) but let's get to what matters: Arrested Development. Tobias Funke is the greatest character of all time, in any sitcom. A few weeks ago I was at a friend's house with my family and we were all having dinner and somehow Arrested Development came up and I quoted a Tobias line. Me and him then spent what must have been 20 minutes recalling old Tobias lines and laughing hysterically. He’s just that funny and a lot of the credit goes to Cross, who plays him perfectly. On top of that he has a background in sketch comedy having starred with his close friend and comedy partner Bob Odenkirk in the absurd and hilarious sketch comedy show Mr. Show. So here’s hoping that David Cross get to host SNL this season and if not this season sometime soon (maybe promoting the new season and movie of Arrested Development?)

4. Chris Evans
How you know him (notable works): The Avengers, Captain America: The First Avenger, Fantastic Four, Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Opposite Sex, What’s Your Number?, Push, Not Another Teen Movie, TMNT, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, The Iceman, Battle For Terra, Sunshine, Puncture
We also need some movie stars in the mix and Chris Evans is a very underrated, but nonetheless fantastic actor. He is best known for his fantastic performances Captain America in Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers both of which are sprinkled with subtle and clever humor. Less well known, however, is his versatility and natural comedic timing. Evans’ earliest claim to fame is his starring role on the short lived but well received comedy Opposite Sex. Since then he has both lent his voice to the family animation comedy TMNT and starred in numerous comedic movies such as Not Another Teen Movie, in which he gave a fun, enthusiastic performance, Scott Pilgram Vs The World, which I haven’t seen and What’s Your Number? where he gave an snarky but charming and entertaining performance as a laid back lady's man, turning a mediocre plot and screenplay in to an enjoyable rom-com. He would also fit in quite well with the cast so I think its time SNL shows their patriotism and lets Captain America host.

5. Jennifer Lawrence
How you know her (notable works): The Hunger Games, Winter’s Bone, X-Men: First Class, The Beaver, Like Crazy, The Bill Engvall Show
This summer, I started reading "The Hunger Games" and the books are fantastic. After finishing the first book, I watched the movie via movies on demand and it was pretty good. And Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic. She seems to be on the verge of taking over the film industry at just 22 years old. I mean, she has and will continue to play leads in two prominent movie franchises (The Hunger Games and the new X-Men) and already garnered an Oscar nomination last year for Winter’s Bone despite her youth and her mere 20 total acting jobs. Anyway, you’re probably thinking a few things right now: that Lawrence is not a primarily a comedy actress and this choice doesn’t make sense. While it’s true that she is not primarily a comedic actress, she would, nonetheless be a great host. Yes, Lawrence is mainly known for her roles in The Hunger Games, Winter’s Bone, and X-Men: First Class, none of which are comedies. That may be true, but Lawrence had a recurring role on the comedy The Bill Engvall Show. Admittedly though, when I put her on this list I didn’t know that. I put her on this list for one primary reason: after watching The Hunger Games, I went online and watched some interviews with the cast and I discovered something: she has a wonderful personality and is lots of fun to watch when she is goofing around. She has an off-beat sense about her that makes her incredibly likable. She literally had me laughing out loud just by doing a normal promotion interview. For her, comedy is just a gift, something she does naturally. I’d love to see her put her natural talent to work again on SNL.

6. Andrew Garfield
How you know him (notable works): The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network, The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, Lions For Lambs, Sugar Rush, Red Riding
Andrew Garfield is one of my favorite actors. In everything I’ve seen him in he has been fantastic. I think he, like Jennifer Lawrence, is about to become one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Also like Lawrence, Garfield is a star of a major franchise (the Spider-Man reboot) and has risen to prominence despite his youth. He earned Oscar chatter for his role in The Social Network and lit up the box office this summer playing the title role in The Amazing Spider-Man, to which a sequel has already been announced. And he’s not just a film star. Garfield did a stint on Broadway in “Death Of A Salesman” along side Phillip Seymour Hoffman. But Garfield, again like Lawrence, is not really a considered a comedic actor. That said, he inserted his own brand of charming, subtle humor into his two primary films The Social Network and The Amazing Spider-Man. Garfield also made a cameo on SNL last season when his girlfriend, Emma Stone, hosted. He has also shown he is willing to have fun, constantly showing his sense of humor in interviews. His acting skill and willingness to have fun would make him a fantastic SNL host.

7. John Oliver
How you know him (notable works): The Daily Show, New York Stand-Up Show, Community, The Smurfs, The Love Guru
Oliver may not be prominent enough yet to host SNL this season, but I am confident he will be prominent enough to host soon. Either way, if I had to name who I thought the 10 funniest people in the world were, Oliver would be up there. I believe the reason he hasn’t become a household name is that he seems to prefer television to film. He’s only been in two movies lending his voice to the animated film The Smurfs and stole scenes in Mike Myers’ The Love Guru. Like I said though, Oliver is all over television right now. He is the host of John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show” and has a recurring role on NBC’s Community. He also created and records the popular podcast “The Bugle.” But none of that matters. All that matters is Oliver’s hysterically funny work on The Daily Show. Every time Oliver comes on screen I smile because I know what follows will be hilarity. Oliver is just that consistent. And that funny. I can’t explain John Oliver anymore, just watch the clip.

8. Jack McBrayer
How you know him (notable works): 30 Rock, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, Despicable Me, The Campaign, Phineas & Ferb, Phineas & Ferb The Movie: Across The 2nd Dimension, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, A Thousand Words, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Blackballed; The Bobby Duke Story, Spring Breakdown
If you know Jack McBrayer you probably know him from the NBC sitcom 30 Rock where he has a starring role as Kenneth, the Southern born and raised, overenthusiastic, loyal, television-loving page. Kenneth is a very well written character and a fan favorite, but the reason viewers get so much out of Kenneth is because McBrayer puts so much into him. He really gives every scene in every episode everything he possibly can without going over the top and the result is one of the most entertaining and hilarious characters on TV today. And McBrayer manages to stick out on a show filled with perfectly written characters and side-splittingly funny performances. It is also remarkable that McBrayer (along with Tina Fey and the other 30 Rock writers) have managed to keep Kenneth a funny and compelling character for six seasons. That said, a great performance in a TV show doesn’t usually make a star and only occasionally makes an SNL host. While most people accept McBrayer for his hilariously funny work on 30 Rock, he is lesser known for his other work. Over the past six years, McBrayer has managed to become quite a good character actor appearing in numerous comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Talladega Knights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby and The Campaign.” He has also found success doing voice work. He played multiple characters in Despicable Me and has a recurring role on the ingenious Disney Channel animated show Phineas & Ferb (I’ll talk about why Phineas & Ferb is so fantastic in a different article so for now just trust me when I say it is a revolutionary, hilarious, family animated comedy series that is great entertainment for kids, teens [like me], and adults.) While McBrayer may not be the most versatile actor, he  does have a background in sketch comedy/improv having worked at Improv Olympic and Second City for seven years. For McBrayer, if he is going to host it will likely be this year for a few reasons. Despite his other work, McBrayer’s main claim to fame is 30 Rock which will be ending after this season. He will also be starring in the animated comedy Wreck-It Ralph which is set to release November 2nd. With two relevant projects to promote and lots of talent, McBrayer could very likely be hosting this season (let’s cross our fingers.)

9 . Matt LeBlanc
How you know him (notable works): Friends, Episodes, Joey, Charlie’s Angels, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Lost In Space, All The Queen’s Men, Ed, Top Of The Heap, Vinnie & Bobby, TV 101
This may seem like a weird choice. Matt LeBlanc hasn’t really been relevant since Friends ended. Well let me explain. First off, LeBlanc was terrific in Friends. His combination of comedic timing and natural charisma (with a little help from his enormously popular catchphrase “how you doin’”) earned him three Emmy nominations (all for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy) and three Golden Globe nominations (all for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy or Musical) and while he never won, he, like the rest of the Friends cast, became wildly popular. Yes, the whole cast was great, but LeBlanc had that unique charm that radiated with every line he delivered. This intangible that LeBlanc had, and has shown he still has, is not something you can create. It is one that many actors would kill for. He has the ability to fluidly, and almost subconsciously, mix this unique charm of his into his into his comedy. Yes, Joey Tribbiani was a good character and yes, LeBlanc (and Lisa Kudrow) got more laughs than the other cast members because he was seldom the straight man, but neither of those things were what made LeBlanc stand out. What made LeBlanc stand out was his natural charm. While doing Friends, LeBlanc appeared in various movies such as Charlie’s Angels, Ed, and Lost In Space. After Friends ended, LeBlanc got to work on his Friends spin-off series, Joey. Joey however, was something of a flop and was cancelled after its 2nd season. LeBlanc then kind of disappeared. He didn’t act at all. Nothing. Nada. Then, a couple years ago, in 2010 LeBlanc resurfaced out of nowhere starring in the Showtime comedy Episodes playing a very heightened version of himself. Episodes became wildly popular as critics sung its praises and especially applauded LeBlanc’s performance. Suddenly, the old Matt LeBlanc was back, a bit greyer, but back. In 2011 LeBlanc was nominated for an Emmy and in 2012 he won a Golden Globe - something he could never do as Joey. LeBlanc is now officially back would be terrific on SNL. He’s a fantastic actor and comic, oozing with charisma and is raring to go just two years removed from his five year absence. All that equals a great SNL host. On top of that, strangely, he is the only main Friends cast member (meaning Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox and himself) never to host. Matt LeBlanc certainly deserves to host.

10. Jennifer Hall
How you know her (notable works): Up All Night, Bewitched, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, Unscripted, Finding Amanda
I’m going to be totally honest here, I’ve only seen Jennifer Hall in one thing: Up All Night. That said, in Up All Night she is hysterically funny playing Missy, a strange but devoted assistant to main characters Reagan and Ava. It was Hall who kept the show entertaining last season when it got dull and in most episodes it was Hall who got the big laughs. I have never seen her in a movie, though I do know that in 2005 she starred in the short lived HBO comedy Unscripted.  The title refers to the fact that the actors improvised most of the show. This kind of background is good for SNL. Add that to her hilarious work on Up All Night and she makes this list.

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