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The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s 

Best of SNL
Updated April 3, 2019 7.4k votes 370 voters 1.4k views 64 items

List Rules Vote up the people who did the best job as hosts of SNL from 1975 through 1979.

Saturday Night Live might not have started out a hit but as the 1970s slipped past, SNL cemented itself into the TV viewing habits of the masses.  Even though Saturday Night Live didn't start until halfway through the decade, there were still plenty of '70s SNL hosts. If you can't remember everybody who got to open the show, then refresh your memory with this list of the people who were hosts from 1975 through 1979, ranked from best SNL '70s hosts to worst SNL '70s hosts.

In those early years, SNL hosts were often comedians, though they did get actors and actresses such as Carrie Fisher, Peter Boyle, and Candice Bergen. One of the people who took on the role of host the most often in the '70s was actor Buck Henry, who hosted ten times in five years. Chevy Chase, a former cast member and Weekend Update anchor, returned in 1978 to host the show.

Just like the seasons and episodes themselves, the Saturday Night Live hosts of the 1970s range from great to grueling. Vote up the actors, musicians, and comedians who did the best job at hosting SNL in the '70s.

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list ordered by
1
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
The Jerk, ¡Three Amigos!, Bowfinger

Age: 73

Birthplace: Texas, USA, Waco

Stephen Glenn Martin (born August 14, 1945) is an American actor, comedian, writer, filmmaker, and musician. Martin came to public notice in the 1960s as a writer for The Smothers Brothers ...more
2
George Carlin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Dogma, Cars, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Age: Dec. at 71 (1937-2008)

Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America

George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic. He was known for his black comedy and reflections on politics, the ...more
3
Ricky Nelson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Rio Bravo, Pulp Fiction

Age: Dec. at 45 (1940-1985)

Birthplace: Teaneck, New Jersey, United States of America

Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985) was an American pop star, musician, and singer-songwriter. From age eight he starred alongside his family in the radio and television ...more
4
Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Christmas Vacation, Caddyshack, Vacation

Age: 75

Birthplace: Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America

Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase (; born October 8, 1943) is an American comedian, actor and writer. Born into a prominent New York family, Chase had a variety of jobs before moving into ...more
5
Lily Tomlin is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
I Heart Huckabees, Nine to Five, Nashville

Age: 79

Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America

Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin (born September 1, 1939) is an American actress, comedian, writer, singer and producer. Tomlin started her career as a stand-up comedian as well as performing ...more
6
Madeline Kahn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, A Bug's Life

Age: Dec. at 57 (1942-1999)

Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

Madeline Gail Kahn (born Madeline Gail Wolfson; September 29, 1942 – December 3, 1999) was an American actress, comedian, voice actress, and singer, known for comedic roles in films directed by ...more
7
Buck Henry is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
The Graduate, Heaven Can Wait, What's Up

Age: 88

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Henry Zuckerman (December 9, 1930 – January 8, 2020), credited as Buck Henry, was an American actor, writer, film director, and television director. He was nominated for an Academy Award twice, ...more
8
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip, Blazing Saddles

Age: Dec. at 65 (1940-2005)

Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois, United States of America

Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American stand-up comedian and actor. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and ...more
9
Rob Reiner is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
The Wolf of Wall Street, This Is Spinal Tap, All in the Family

Age: 71

Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York

Robert Reiner (born March 6, 1947) is an American actor and filmmaker. As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence with the role of Michael Stivic on All in the Family (1971–1979), a ...more
10
Maureen Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Cocoon, Reds, Airport

Age: Dec. at 81 (1925-2006)

Birthplace: Troy, New York, United States of America

Lois Maureen Stapleton (June 21, 1925 – March 13, 2006) was an American actress in film, theater, and television. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for ...more
11
Kris Kristofferson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Blade II, Blade, Blade: Trinity

Age: 82

Birthplace: Brownsville, Texas, United States of America

Kristoffer Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. Among his songwriting credits are the songs "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good ...more
12
Richard Dreyfuss is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, American Graffiti

Age: 68

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Richard Stephen Dreyfuss (; né Dreyfus; born October 29, 1947) is an American actor best known for starring in popular films between the 1970s and 1990s, including American Graffiti, ...more
13
Dyan Cannon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Revenge of the Pink Panther, Heaven Can Wait, Deathtrap

Age: 82

Birthplace: Tacoma, Washington, United States of America

Dyan Cannon (born Samille Diane Friesen; January 4, 1937) is an American actress, director, screenwriter, producer, and editor. She has been nominated for three Academy Awards.
14
Elliott Gould is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
American History X, Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Thirteen

Age: 80

Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York

Elliott Gould (born Elliott Goldstein; August 29, 1938) is an American actor. He began acting in Hollywood films during the 1960s. In addition to his performance in the comedy Bob & Carol ...more
15
Carrie Fisher is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

Age: 62

Birthplace: Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, California, United States of America

Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016) was an American actress, writer, and comedian. Fisher is best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, a role for ...more
16
Dick Cavett is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Forrest Gump, Beetlejuice, Annie Hall

Age: 82

Birthplace: Gibbon, Nebraska, United States of America

Richard Alva Cavett (; born November 19, 1936) is an American television personality, comedian and former talk show host notable for his conversational style and in-depth discussions. He ...more
17
Mary Kay Place is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Being John Malkovich

Age: 71

Birthplace: USA, Oklahoma, Tulsa

Mary Kay Place (born September 23, 1947) is an American actress, singer, director, and screenwriter. She is known for portraying Loretta Haggers on the television series Mary Hartman, Mary ...more
18
Eric Idle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, The Meaning of Life

Age: 75

Birthplace: England, South Shields

Eric Idle (born 29 March 1943) is an English comedian, actor, voice actor, author, singer-songwriter, musician, writer, and comedic composer. Idle was a member of the British surreal comedy ...more
19
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Your Best Shot, College Basketball's 10 Greatest Teams, NBA: Kevin Garnett

Age: 85

Birthplace: West Monroe, Louisiana, United States of America

William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American retired professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from ...more
20
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Forrest Gump, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Wolf of Wall Street

Age: 77

Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States of America

Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. Simon's musical career has spanned seven decades with his fame and commercial success beginning as half of ...more
21
Michael Palin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, The Meaning of Life

Age: 75

Birthplace: Broomhill, United Kingdom

Sir Michael Edward Palin, (; born 5 May 1943), is an English comedian, actor, writer and television presenter. He was a member of the comedy group Monty Python. Since 1980 he has made a number ...more
22
Candice Bergen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Murphy Brown, Gandhi, Miss Congeniality

Age: 72

Birthplace: Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, California, United States of America

Candice Patricia Bergen (born May 9, 1946) is an American actress and former fashion model. She won five Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for her eleven seasons as the title character on ...more
23
Walter Matthau is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
The Odd Couple, Charade, Grumpy Old Men

Age: Dec. at 80 (1920-2000)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Walter Matthau (; born Walter John Matthow; October 1, 1920 – July 1, 2000) was an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his film roles opposite Jack Lemmon, playing Oscar Madison in ...more
24
Howard Hesseman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
This Is Spinal Tap, Flight of the Navigator, Clue

Age: 79

Birthplace: Lebanon, Oregon, United States of America

Howard Hesseman (born February 27, 1940) is an American actor best known for playing DJ Dr. Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati, Captain Pete Lassard in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, ...more
25
Ruth Gordon is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s
Rosemary's Baby, Harold and Maude, Adam's Rib

Age: Dec. at 89 (1896-1985)

Birthplace: Quincy, Massachusetts, United States of America

Ruth Gordon Jones (October 30, 1896 – August 28, 1985) was an American film, stage, and television actress, as well as a screenwriter and playwright. Gordon began her career performing on ...more