During the audition process, Saturday Night Live godfather Lorne Michaels often asks prospective cast members what cast they grew up with. That is, what edition of Saturday Night Live did candidates initially fall in love with. Are they fans of the Adam Sandler/Chris Farley years or Eddie Murphy’s reign, or are they admirers of the late great Phil Hartman? It’s a difficult question for someone as young as Justin Bieber, who’s only 18 and presumably still gaining an appreciation for the show’s legacy, but at least he demonstrated a willingness to fail — an essential element of any comedy and a somewhat rare characteristic for a pop star. Bieber likely didn’t win a ton of new converts with his comedy, but his dedicated fans seemed to appreciate his effort… and his singing… and his Bieberness. Still, TV ratings were soft.
Bieber follows up fellow double-threat Adam Levine, who debuted at the top of the most recent SNL host poll with a modest 35.5 percent. It’s not bad exactly, but it’s lowish for a most-recent episode and will test his ability to hang around in the race for best Saturday Night Live host of the season. Martin Short‘s support sagged a little, but he finished a strong second, with 24.0 percent. Season-premiere host Seth MacFarlane looks to be in it for the long haul; he inched up to 15.6 percent. Anne Hathaway’s polarizing SNL performance finally caught up to her, as she scored just 11.2 percent and was eliminated when Jennifer Lawrence edged her with 13.9 percent. America has spoken, but Hathaway’s Homeland skit will live forever.
Remember, gang: This poll is about who was the best SNL host, according to whatever subjective criteria one uses to determine this sort of thing. Below, I’ve embedded one representative clip for each of the five hosts currently in the race. After the vote, the host with the least support will be eliminated, and the other four will advance to compete against Christoph Waltz on Feb. 16. Ultimately, we’ll eliminate the less memorable hosts and crown a new Mr. or Ms. Saturday Night. Watch the clips, refresh your memories, and vote below.