Oldest SNL Hosts Ever People In TV

Oldest SNL Hosts Ever

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This list includes the oldest 'SNL' hosts ever. And it's pretty eye-opening. And, you know, totally geriatric. At this point, a dozen celebs 65 and older have graced the 'Saturday Night Live' stage as hosts. The list includes beloved actors, actresses, a controversial TV commentator, at least one politician - and a grandmother from New Orleans. Pretty impressive!

For now, it doesn't seem likely that anyone else will join this list - at least not in the short term. As 'SNL' heads into its 37th season, only Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy and Jimmy Fallon have been announced as hosts. A Facebook campaign to get Carol Burnett to host 'Saturday Night Live' (amazingly, she never has!) continues. If she does do it, the 78-year-old Burnett would become the 13th person over 65 to host!

From the sextagenarians to the octogenarians, enjoy this list. And be sure to vote for your favorite hosts!

For more 'SNL' info, check out these lists of the most frequent SNL hosts (one person is on this list as well), the best 'Saturday Night Live' monologues of all time, the best 'SNL' original cast sketches and the best 'SNL' live sketches of the 1990s!

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  1. 1
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    Betty White
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY
    Betty White is officially the oldest person ever to host 'Saturday Night Live.' After a Facebook campaign prompted 'SNL' to extend a hosting invitation, viewers rejoiced when White agreed.

    Betty White graced the 'SNL' stage during the show's 35th season, on May 8, 2010, delivering a hilarious monologue, remarking that, "It's great to be here for a number of reasons." She also explains that now that she knows what Facebook is, she thinks it seems like a big waste of time. Great stuff from the classiest, funniest lady working in TV today!

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    • Credits (TV): The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hot in Cleveland, Mama's Family, Match Game, + more
    • Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, USA
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Age: age 93
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    Charlton Heston was 70 years old when he hosted 'SNL' on December 4, 1993. The always brilliant Heston delivered a great monologue to an audience filled...with apes? He's not a mutant, dammit! He asks Lorne Michaels for help, to no avail. The apes are a great audience, after all...

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    • Credits (TV): The Colbys, America 2-Night, Chiefs, Eco-Challenge, F.D.R.
    • Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States of America
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Age: Died at 85 (1923-2008)
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    Christopher Walken has hosted 'SNL' a total of 7 times. On April 5, 2008, Walken was 65 years old when he walked out to deliver his opening 'Saturday Night Live' monologue. The show itself was packed with great skits, including "Surprise Party," with a hysterically funny, and really excitable Kristen Wiig. "Clowns!"

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    • Credits (TV): American Playhouse, Storybook Cinema, Peter Pan Live!
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York, Astoria
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Age: age 72
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    Dame Helen Mirren was 65 years old when she hosted 'SNL' for the first time on April 9, 2011. And she was fabulous. So were her breasts, which were groped repeatedly by 'SNL' cast members Kristen Wiig and Nasim Pedrad in the 'SNL' digital short "Helen Mirren's Magical Bosom." Oh, and she totally makes out as Eleanor Roosevelt with Abby Elliott's Marilyn Monroe.

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    • Credits (TV): Prime Suspect, Elizabeth I, Painted Lady, BBC2 Playhouse, The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century, + more
    • Birthplace: England, London
    • Nationality: England
    • Age: age 70
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    Bob Newhart
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY
    On February 11, 1995, Bob Newhart hosted 'Saturday Night Live.' At the time, Newhart was 65 years old. This was Newhart's second turn as an 'SNL' host (the first came in 1980). The 1995 episode was packed with goodness, including a parody of the 'Newhart' skit - where he wakes in bed with Emily and swears that he just dreamed he hosted 'Saturday Night Live.'

    Trivia: Bob Newhart is current 'SNL' cast member Paul Brittain's uncle.
    more ABOUT
    • Credits (TV): The Big Bang Theory, The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, George & Leo, + more
    • Birthplace: Oak Park, USA, Illinois
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Age: age 86
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    Howard Cosell
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain
    Famed broadcaster Howard Cosell hosted 'SNL' when he was 67 years old, earning him a spot on this list. Cosell took the 'Saturday Night Live' stage to deliver his monologue on April 13, 1985. Cosell points out that in 1975, he hosted a variety program on ABC called 'Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell.' The show didn't last long - it was canceled after a few short months (it really was bad) - but at the same time, NBC's 'Saturday Night' began airing. After Cosell's show got canned, NBC's 'Saturday Night' became 'Saturday Night Live.'

    Want more trivia? Sure! Cosell's 'Saturday Night Live' show featured a cast called the "Prime Time Players." When NBC changed the name (after the Cosell cancelation), they named their cast the "Not Ready for Prime Time Players."

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    • Credits (TV): Monday Night Football, 30 for 30, Battle of the Network Stars, Fol-de-Rol, Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell
    • Birthplace: USA, North Carolina, Winston-Salem
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Age: Died at 77 (1918-1995)
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    Ruth Gordon
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain
    Actress Ruth Gordon was 80 years old when she hosted 'SNL' on January 22, 1977. Her monologue is pretty good, though not nearly as snappy as Betty White's. She also appeared in several sketches, including 'The Litella Sisters at Home,' where she plays mommy to Gilda Radner's (annoying!) Emily Litella.

    Major props for that particular episode's musical guest: Chuck Berry.
    more ABOUT
    • Credits (TV): Taxi, Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby, Adam's Rib, The Secret World of the Very Young
    • Birthplace: USA, Massachusetts, Quincy
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Age: Died at 89 (1896-1985)
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    When Robert De Niro hosted 'Saturday Night Live,' he was 67 years old. The date was December 4, 2010, and De Niro did much more than host: He appeared in a slew of 'SNL' skits.

    In this monologue, De Niro takes great issue with those who question his facts. Great issue. But he's just messing with you...

    more ABOUT
    • Credits (TV): The Godfather Saga, NYC 22, TriBeCa, Alphaville, Felony Review
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York, Greenwich Village
    • Nationality: Italy, United States of America
    • Age: age 72
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    Actor Broderick Crawford was 65 years old when he hosted 'SNL' on March 19, 1977. He delivered his monologue from a chair (is that a first?), discussing the fact that NBC actually fired him decades before.

    With all due respect to the late Mr. Crawford, this particular 'Saturday Night Live' episode is particularly memorable to me, because it included new cast member Bill Murray's famous "The New Guy" apology!

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    • Credits (TV): Highway Patrol, Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby, The Interns, King of Diamonds
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Age: Died at 75 (1911-1986)
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    Milton Berle
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use
    At age 70, legendary comedian Milton Berle joined this list of oldest 'SNL' hosts ever - in a big, big way. Because Uncle Miltie also joined another 'Saturday Night Live' list after this show: The list of banned guests!

    What happened? In short, Mr. Television took over. Completely. He upstaged the (much younger) cast, ad libbed at every opportunity, gave a horrific performance of 'September Song,' and generally looked like a total mess. Oh, and he also demonstrated some pretty "lewd backstage behavior," including trotting around in his underwear and flashing the crew (and cast member Gilda Radner). I could go on, but I won't. You get the idea. One of the oldest hosts ever for 'SNL,' and the oldest to officially be banned.
    more ABOUT
    • Credits (TV): Amazing Stories, Texaco Star Theater, Kraft Music Hall, The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, Jackpot Bowling, + more
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Age: Died at 94 (1908-2002)
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    Does the name Miskel Spillman ring a bell? Probably not, but she is the second oldest person ever to host 'SNL.' Who is she? In 1977, Spillman won a special 'Saturday Night Live' "Anyone Can Host" contest. Entrants submitted essays to the show, and producer Lorne Michaels (along with 'SNL' cast members), picked the funniest. Spillman won and, on December 17, 1977, the 80-year-old grandmother from New Orleans, Louisiana, hosted the 'Saturday Night Live' Christmas special.
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    • Birthplace: Germany
    • Age: Died at 95 (1897-1992)
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    John McCain
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain
    On October 19, 2002, 66-year-old Arizona Senator John McCain hosted 'SNL.' He is officially the only sitting U.S. senator ever to host the show while in office. Other notable politicians who hosted in office included New York City mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani. Oh and for some (still unknown) reason, President Gerald Ford's White House Press Secretary, Ron Nessen.

    Anyway, back to McCain. Here he is delivering his monologue, with some help from Fred Armisen's Venezuelan nightclub musician, Fericito.

    more ABOUT
    • Birthplace: Panama Canal Zone, Panama, Americas, Central America
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Age: age 79
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