In his opening monologue as host of Saturday Night Live, Josh Brolin said, “It’s just refreshing to come here and just be stupid… like really stupid. Like career-endingly stupid.”
Maybe that raised my hopes a little too much, because I kept waiting for Brolin to cut loose. The new star of the upcoming Men in Black 3 had some moments — his doctor in “The Californians” was perhaps inadvertently the best Jeff Bridges imitation I’ve ever seen. But he certainly didn’t seem to have to hurry through wardrobe to make one skit after another.
So Brolin has his work cut out for him in our season-long contest to determine the best SNL host. Our most recent poll was, by far, the most competitive. Four favorites — Jimmy Fallon, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, and Daniel Radcliffe — had flicked aside previous challengers, but when Sofia Vergara hosted last week, Daniel Radcliffe seemed vulnerable. D-Rad fans, however, rallied late in the game, saving The Boy Who Lived for another week. The surprise castaway: Maya Rudolph. (If I had a Save, I’d use it, Maya.)
Jimmy Fallon remained in first, but his support dropped to 27.3 percent of the vote. Vergara impressed with a 20.7 percent debut, and Melissa McCarthy was steady, with 20.4 percent. Radcliffe‘s late charge boosted his support from 10.8 to 17.4 percent, leaving Rudoph’s not-too-shabby 14.2 in last.
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 — Spielberg! — and fluctuating writing? My rule of thumb: “Do I want to see them come back and host again next season?” 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 Eli Manning on May 5. Ultimately, we’ll crown the Saturday Night Liveliest host at the end of the season. Watch and vote below.