'SNL' metrics: Didn't Jon Hamm just host?
Image Credit: NBCJon Hamm and his john ham are hosting SNL again this weekend. Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday he was hosting for the first time? This’ll be Hamm’s third time hosting in two years. Yes, that’s pretty often to host.
When SNL first started, hosts repeated during a season all the time. Candice Bergen hosted episodes a mere six weeks apart in the first season, and Elliot Gould and Buck Henry each hosted twice that first season as well; Henry went on to host twice a season for the first five years. Steve Martin hosted three times in season 3, and it wasn’t until season 6 that SNL made it a full season without repeating a host. (That season was shortened by a writers’ strike and also by being kind of awful, though.)
I’m going to define the “modern” era of SNL as after 1988 (following another writers’ strike). Including that 14th season, Hamm’s, uh, refractory period is the third-shortest: Ben Affleck hosted in March and October of 2004, just 203 days apart. Phil Hartman hosted episodes 245 days apart in 1996, and Hamm ties with John Goodman at a mere 273 days between hosting gigs. Both Alec Baldwin and Dane Cook have gone as little as 301 days between hosting, though Baldwin has hosted SNL an average of once every 523 days for the last 20 years. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the fastest re-booked female host, with 308 days between her 2006 and 2007 appearances.
What does this all mean? Well, with a little patience and determination, you can make an Excel spreadsheet about anything! Other than that, not much. Hamm’s a terrific host, and it’s not like Mad Men‘s losing social currency. But if you, like I, thought it seemed fast, you were right.