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The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '70s

Updated April 3, 2019 10.1k votes 383 voters 2.1k views64 items

List RulesVote 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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  • Steve Martin1
    461
    12

    Steve Martin

    The Jerk, ¡Three Amigos!

    Age75

    BirthplaceWaco, Texas, United States of America

    Stephen Glenn Martin (born August 14, 1945) is an American actor, comedian, writer, filmmaker,...  more
  • George Carlin2
    453
    11

    George Carlin

    Dogma, Cars

    AgeDied at 71 (1937-2008)

    BirthplaceManhattan, New York City, New York, USA

    George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian,...  more
  • Ricky Nelson3
    453
    24

    Ricky Nelson

    The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Rio Bravo

    AgeDec. at 45 (1940-1985)

    BirthplaceTeaneck, New Jersey, United States of America

    Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985) was an American pop star, musician, and...  more
  • Chevy Chase4
    190
    197

    Chevy Chase

    Christmas Vacation, Caddyshack

    Age77

    BirthplaceNew York City, USA, New York, Lower Manhattan

    Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase (; born October 8, 1943) is an American comedian, actor and...  more
  • Lily Tomlin5
    155
    200

    Lily Tomlin

    I Heart Huckabees, Nine to Five

    Age81

    BirthplaceDetroit, Michigan, United States of America

    Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin (born September 1, 1939) is an American actress, comedian, writer,...  more
  • Madeline Kahn6
    132
    191

    Madeline Kahn

    Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles

    AgeDec. at 57 (1942-1999)

    BirthplaceBoston, Massachusetts, USA

    Madeline Gail Kahn (born Madeline Gail Wolfson; September 29, 1942 – December 3, 1999) was an...  more
  • Richard Pryor7
    135
    201

    Richard Pryor

    Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip

    AgeDec. at 65 (1940-2005)

    BirthplacePeoria, Illinois, United States of America

    Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American...  more
  • Buck Henry8
    132
    202

    Buck Henry

    The Graduate, Heaven Can Wait

    Age89

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Henry Zuckerman (December 9, 1930 – January 8, 2020), credited as Buck Henry, was an American...  more
  • Rob Reiner9
    132
    207

    Rob Reiner

    The Wolf of Wall Street, This Is Spinal Tap

    Age73

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Robert Reiner (born March 6, 1947) is an American actor and filmmaker. As an actor, Reiner...  more
  • Maureen Stapleton10
    113
    198

    Maureen Stapleton

    Cocoon, Reds

    AgeDec. at 81 (1925-2006)

    BirthplaceTroy, New York, United States of America

    Lois Maureen Stapleton (June 21, 1925 – March 13, 2006) was an American actress in film,...  more
  • Kris Kristofferson11
    95
    171

    Kris Kristofferson

    Blade II, Blade

    Age84

    BirthplaceTexas, USA, Brownsville

    Kristoffer Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American singer-songwriter and actor....  more
  • Richard Dreyfuss12
    85
    188

    Richard Dreyfuss

    Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    Age72

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Richard Stephen Dreyfuss (; né Dreyfus; born October 29, 1947) is an American actor best known...  more
  • Dyan Cannon13
    62
    153

    Dyan Cannon

    Revenge of the Pink Panther, Heaven Can Wait

    Age83

    BirthplaceUSA, Tacoma, Washington

    Dyan Cannon (born Samille Diane Friesen; January 4, 1937) is an American actress, director,...  more
  • Elliott Gould14
    55
    179

    Elliott Gould

    American History X, Ocean's Eleven

    Age82

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Elliott Gould (born Elliott Goldstein; August 29, 1938) is an American actor. He began acting...  more
  • Carrie Fisher15
    38
    151

    Carrie Fisher

    Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

    Age63

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, Beverly Hills, California, United States of America

    Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016) was an American actress, writer,...  more
  • Mary Kay Place16
    31
    122

    Mary Kay Place

    Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

    Age73

    BirthplaceTulsa, Oklahoma, USA

    Mary Kay Place (born September 23, 1947) is an American actress, singer, director, and...  more
  • Dick Cavett17
    33
    135

    Dick Cavett

    Forrest Gump, Beetlejuice

    Age83

    BirthplaceGibbon, Nebraska, United States of America

    Richard Alva Cavett (; born November 19, 1936) is an American television personality, comedian...  more
  • Eric Idle18
    35
    171

    Eric Idle

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian

    Age77

    BirthplaceSouth Shields, United Kingdom

    Eric Idle (born 29 March 1943) is an English comedian, actor, voice actor, author,...  more
  • Paul Simon19
    21
    109

    Paul Simon

    Forrest Gump, The Royal Tenenbaums

    Age78

    BirthplaceUSA, Newark, New Jersey

    Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor....  more
  • Michael Palin20
    24
    146

    Michael Palin

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian

    Age77

    BirthplaceBroomhill, United Kingdom

    Sir Michael Edward Palin, (; born 5 May 1943), is an English comedian, actor, writer and...  more
  • Candice Bergen21
    20
    121

    Candice Bergen

    Murphy Brown, Gandhi

    Age74

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, USA, California, Beverly Hills

    Candice Patricia Bergen (born May 9, 1946) is an American actress and former fashion model....  more
  • Bill Russell22
    20
    129

    Bill Russell

    Your Best Shot, College Basketball's 10 Greatest Teams

    Age86

    BirthplaceWest Monroe, Louisiana, United States of America

    William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American retired professional basketball...  more
  • Walter Matthau23
    17
    111

    Walter Matthau

    The Odd Couple, Charade

    AgeDec. at 80 (1920-2000)

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Walter Matthau (; born Walter John Matthow; October 1, 1920 – July 1, 2000) was an American...  more
  • Charles Grodin24
    11
    68

    Charles Grodin

    Beethoven, Midnight Run

    Age85

    BirthplacePittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Charles Grodin (born April 21, 1935) is an American actor, comedian, author, and former...  more
  • Ruth Gordon25
    11
    76

    Ruth Gordon

    Rosemary's Baby, Harold and Maude

    AgeDec. at 89 (1896-1985)

    BirthplaceQuincy, Massachusetts, United States of America

    Ruth Gordon Jones (October 30, 1896 – August 28, 1985) was an American film, stage, and...  more