The 10 Best ‘Saturday Night Live’ Hosts of All Time

– Additional research by Jim Miller (@jimmiller)

It takes a special formula to make an awesome Saturday Night Live host. The person in question must be funny, yes, but also incredibly magnetic and likable. The gig is a lot harder than people think, but some stars make it seem like a walk in the park.

Everyone from Britney Spears to Josh Hutcherson has hosted SNL, but what celebrities reign supreme as the ultimate masters? Well, take a break from watching VH1 Classic’s “SNL Rewind: 2015- 1975 Mega Marathon,” and find out which 10 candidates make cut. (Of course, it includes human beer bottle and general sunshine king Justin Timberlake.)

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin has hosted the show a whopping 16 times—the most ever—and became a member of the prestigious Five-Timers Club in 1994. Some of Baldwin’s best skits include “NPR’s Delicious Dish with Pete Schweddy” (1998), “Brenda the Waitress” (1990), and “Glengarry Glen Christmas” (2005). Steve Martin previously held the title for the most hosting gigs until 2011. When Baldwin made his appearance that year to beat his record, Martin made a cameo and “administered” a drug test, all in good fun.

Buck Henry

Buck Henry has hosted the show an impressive 10 times, and he joined the Five-Timers Club in just four years, his first being 1976. Henry, a two-time Academy Award nominee, left a SNL legacy of several recurring characters, including Howard the stunt coordinator and the very creepy Uncle Roy. He’s also known for his celebrity impersonations of Charles Lindbergh, John Dean, and Ron Nessen. 

Candice Bergen

As one of only two female members in the Five-Timers Club (the other is Drew Barrymore), Candice Bergen has her fair share of legendary SNL bits especially during the golden ’70s years. Bergen is sheer comedic brilliance alongside Gilda Radner in “Right to Extreme Stupidity”  in addition to  “Consumer Probe” (both in 1976). 

For more comedy-legend goodness, check out a full episode hosted by Robin Williams:

Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken has hosted the show seven times, most recently in 2008. His signature voice proved comedy gold in several skits, including “Meet the Family” (2008) and the classic “More Cowbell” from 2000. It would be an injustice if we didn’t include The Bruce Dickinson on our list! 

John Goodman

With his hosting number at 13, John Goodman is definitely SNL royalty. And rightfully so! He’s been a part of several side-splitting sketches, particularly “Cruise” (1993), “Celebrity Jeopardy” (1997), and “Lewinsky-Tripp Phone Chat” (1998). Goodman’s biggest strength as host is his willingness to do basically anything for the laugh, and it works every time.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake is certainly SNL’s best contemporary host, and he made the Five-Timers Club with his appearance in March 2013. Timberlake has an undeniable charm and dynamite comedic timing that put him on par with some of the hosting greats. Who can forget the hysterical “Liquorville” (2011) or wonderfully absurd “Dick in a Box” (2006)? Here’s hoping Timberlake doesn’t stop blessing us with his SNL prowess for a long time.

Madeline Khan

Madeline Kahn holds the record for having the longest time span in between two hosting gigs (18 years).  However, her skits are nothing short of timeless. She appeared alongside Gilda Radner as “Baba Wawa” in “Not for Ladies Only” in addition to the classic “Slumber Party” skit (both in 1976).

Richard Pryor

As the first African American to ever host SNL, Richard Pryor is one of the show’s most iconic special guests. And he was certainly memorable. His then-controversial “Word Association” skit in 1975 sparked several racial conversations due to its biting satire. Pryor also appeared in the hilarious “Exorcist II” sketch from 1975, mocking all the jumpy frights that paralyzed America for years.

Robert DeNiro

While Robert DeNiro hasn’t joined the Five-Timers Club yet, his few stints as host have been lively and mighty. For example, take his memorable 2008 skit where he announced a list of most-wanted terrorists. (So funny, and he did it with a straight face.) Other A-plus DeNiro moments include “Three Wise Guys” (2013) and “Mr. Produce” (2010).

Steve Martin

Steve Martin is a hosting veteran, with 15 gigs (and 27 guest appearances in general) to his name. He’s had a long-standing comedic feud with Baldwin as they run neck-and-neck for the most times hosted. Their rivalry produced several hilarious on-screen tête-à-têtes, including murder gags, stage brawls, and of course that infamous drug test bit. Baldwin holds the record (for now), but it doesn’t make Martin’s hosting contributions any less valid. His highlights include “King Tut” (1978), “The Festrunk Brothers” (1977), and “Medieval Barber” (1978).

Who are your all-time favorite SNL hosts? Sound off in the comments below.

[Photo Credit: NBC/Getty Images]