The last time Vince Vaughn hosted Saturday Night Live, he was plugging Gus Van Sant’s Psycho remake and the musical guest was Lauryn Hill. Old School was still five years away! But fans who still love him best for his role as Trent in Swingers and others who remember his improv chops from his 2006 comedy documentary, Wild West Comedy Show, had to appreciate his opening monologue on Saturday. He flirted with random-audience-member Paige like she was at the Derby lounge, and lectured nervous Eric about cell-phone etiquette like he was giving buddy Jon Favreau a pep-talk. In other words, it certainly played to his strengths, which wasn’t exactly the case for the rest of the show.
Last year, our inaugural best-host contest turned out to be a two-horse race between Jimmy Fallon and Melissa McCarthy, with Fallon ultimately taking home the prize. Vaughn has the unfortunate luck of stepping right into the wake of a similar situation, following well-received appearances from McCarthy and five-timer Justin Timberlake. Those two favorites are now dominating our recent poll — combining to win more than 90 percent of the vote — sending home Christoph Waltz and leaving Martin Short and Seth MacFarlane, who were hardly slouches, hanging on by a thread. With only four episodes of Saturday Night Live to go, and Zach Galifianakis scheduled to host next on May 4, the race has never been more competitive.
Remember, everyone: we’re trying to recognize the best SNL host, the funniest, most-memorable host who raised everyone’s game and put on a performance that would’ve been excellent in the greatest of classic SNL seasons. Were people in the office elevator still chuckling about the episode this morning? How many times have re-viewed a sketch online? Do you want to see this host back on the show next season? Just some things to consider.
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 escorted by Bobby Moynihan off the premises, and the other four will advance to compete against Galifianakis. After his effort, there will only be three episodes remaining until we crown a new Mr. or Ms. Saturday Night. Watch the clips, refresh your memories, and vote below.