'SNL' best host poll: How will you remember Dakota Johnson's first time?
The 40th anniversary celebration is over, and Saturday Night Live officially returned this weekend with an episode hosted by Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson. The 25-year-old actress, the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, is having a moment, what with headlining the year’s biggest box-office hit and that cute-but-awkward red-carpet appearance at last week’s Oscars with her mother, which went viral. It was assumed that she’d incorporate both into the show—and Johnson delivered within the first few minutes of her monologue.
The rest of the episode felt a little too safe, though Internet critics perked up after a controversial ISIS video that satirized the group’s appeal to Western teenagers. Johnson, who’s proven herself to be more than just Anastasia Steele—in her brief Social Network role and the short-lived sitcom Ben and Kate—seemed slightly out of her element, and the show felt like it was rattling along on training wheels. Still, she delivered the best line of the night after being slapped in the “Net Neutrality” sketch, and she was one of the funny ladies who found her true voice in the “Say What You Wanna Say” video. Bonus points for “breaking” like a pro in the Dr. Worf sketch.
Johnson enters a Mr. Saturday Night contest with two strong frontrunners—Martin Freeman and Bill Hader—leading a pack of what’s been mostly all men this season. (I wouldn’t mind crowning a Ms. Saturday Night this May…) Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons did not win over voters, debuting with only 28.6 percent. When you compare his first frame to Blake Shelton’s, and then see how The Voice‘s star sank in week 2, you can appreciate how Simmons might be doomed. His less-than-promising outing handed the momentum back to Freeman, who saw his support jump 18 points. Hader, who could be in the hunt until the very end, also saw his numbers move in the positive direction. Kevin Hart ran out of luck and was eliminated. Shelton and Simmons are now on the hot seat and might struggle to survive another week.
Martin Freeman 32.6% (+18 pts)
J.K. Simmons 28.6% (—)
Bill Hader 21.1% (+8)
Blake Shelton 12.0% (-46)
Kevin Hart 5.6% (-2)
Our rules are simple: Who was the best, most memorable SNL host this season? More specifically, who do you hope gets invited back next year? Whose hilarious episode enjoyed multiple viewings on your DVR? Whose show had your boss, your mom, and your roommate still giggling on Monday morning? It’s subjective, of course, but let’s reward the guest hosts who brought something special to the table.
So far, we’ve voted off Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, Chris Pratt, Cameron Diaz, Woody Harrelson, James Franco, Amy Adams, Jim Carrey, and Hart.
Below, watch one representative clip from each of the five hosts, just as a small taste of their recent performances. You’re not voting on this one sketch alone; be sure to consider the entire episode. Make your pick below, and the host with the least support will be eliminated; the other four will advance to compete against Chris Hemsworth next week. Ultimately, we’ll dismiss the less memorable hosts and crown a new Mr. or Mrs. Saturday Night in May. Watch and vote below.
Fifty Shades of Grey