Maya Rudolph was one of Saturday Night Live‘s most popular female cast members — How popular? Wink, wink — and her return to Studio 8H to host on Saturday felt like an exclusive party that we had accidentally been invited to. Joining her were Amy Poehler and Justin Timberlake — and Bill O’Reilly, swimsuit covergirl Kate Upton, and Paul Simon — giving her welcome-back some oomph. It didn’t need it, though it was great fun to see Rudolph crack-up alongside Poehler and her Bridesmaids co-star Kristen Wiig in separate sketches. It was ladies night all over again.
So 15 episodes into the 37th season, our best-host contest has been dominated by a Bridemaids co-star and an SNL alum. So Rudolph seemingly has the perfect background to make a major impact. Jimmy Fallon scored 38.0 percent in the most recent poll, and though Melissa McCarthy slipped to third place with 26.9 percent, she’s likely in for the long haul. Newcomer Zooey Deschanel displaced McCarthy in second, with 27.0 percent, and Daniel Radcliffe drew 6.5 percent of the vote to eliminate Channing Tatum.
Below, I’ve embedded one clip for each of the five remaining hosts, as reminders of their recent performances. How do you possibly grade them against each other, ignoring guest cameos and fluctuating writing? Your guess is as good as mine. But at the very least, try to be objective and don’t reward or penalize a host for their latest movie or TMZ.com photo. It’s all about Saturday night. Vote below, and the four top vote-getters will advance to compete against Lindsay Lohan in two weeks. Ultimately, we’ll crown the Saturday Night Liveliest Host at the end of the season. Watch and vote below.