Entertainment

The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s  

Best of SNL
1k votes 75 voters 153 items

List Rules Vote up the people who did the best job as hosts of SNL from 1980 through 1989.

The 1980s started out rough for Saturday Night Live, but they rode the decade through and celebrated their 15th anniversary in before the '80s ended.  Even with over a dozen hosts appearing multiple times, there were over 150 hosts in the '80s. 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 1980 through 1989, ranked from best SNL '80s hosts to worst SNL '80s hosts.

One of the people who took on the role of host the most often in the '80s was actor Danny DeVito, who hosted four times and tied with comedian and frequent host Steve Martin for most times hosting SNL in the 1980s. Tom Hanks was close behind, hosting Saturday Night Live three times that decade and even using his monologue in the 15th-anniversary episode to hint about upcoming changes to the opening act.

Just like the seasons and episodes themselves, the Saturday Night Live hosts of the 1980s range from great to grueling. Vote up the actors, musicians, and comedians who did the best job at hosting SNL in the '80s.

list ordered by
1
Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
The Da Vinci Code, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. Hanks is known for his comedic and dramatic roles in such films as Splash (1984), Big (1988), Turner & Hooch ...more
2
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
The Jerk, ¡Three Amigos!, Bowfinger
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
3
Harry Anderson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
It, Night Court, She's Having a Baby
Harry Laverne Anderson (October 14, 1952 – April 16, 2018) was an American actor, comedian, and magician. He is best known for the lead role of Judge Harry Stone on the 1984–1992 television ...more
4
Michael McKean is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
This Is Spinal Tap, Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Michael McKean (born October 17, 1947) is an American actor, comedian, and musician, known for a variety of roles played since the 1970s. McKean's first big role was playing annoying neighbor ...more
5
Olivia Newton-John is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Grease, Face/Off, Olivia Down Under
Olivia Newton-John, (born 26 September 1948) is an English-Australian singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, dancer, and activist. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five ...more
6
John Madden is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Shakespeare in Love, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Debt
John Earl Madden is a former American football player in the National Football League, a former Super Bowl-winning head coach with the Oakland Raiders in the American Football Conference of the ...more
7
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
SCTV, Spaceballs, Planes
John Franklin Candy (October 31, 1950 – March 4, 1994) was a Canadian actor and comedian, known mainly for his work in Hollywood films. Candy rose to fame as a member of the Toronto branch of ...more
8
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
The Big Lebowski, Iron Man, True Grit
Jeffrey Leon Bridges (born December 4, 1949) is an American actor, singer, and producer. He comes from a prominent acting family and appeared on the television series Sea Hunt (1958–60), with ...more
9
Angie Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Police Woman, Rio Bravo, Dressed to Kill
Angeline Dickinson (née Brown; born September 30, 1931) is an American actress. She began her career on television, appearing in many anthology series during the 1950s, before landing her ...more
10
Blythe Danner is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, The Lucky One
Blythe Katherine Danner (born February 3, 1943) is an American actress. She is the recipient of several accolades, including two Primetime Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama ...more
11
Bob Uecker is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Bob Uecker Major League, Mr. Belvedere, Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco
Robert George Uecker ( YOO-kər; born January 26, 1934) is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) player and current sportscaster, comedian, and actor. Facetiously dubbed "Mr. ...more
12
Flip Wilson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Uptown Saturday Night, Skatetown, U.S.A.
Clerow "Flip" Wilson Jr. (December 8, 1933 – November 25, 1998) was an American comedian and actor best known for his television appearances during the late 1960s and the 1970s. From ...more
13
Garry Shandling is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
What Planet Are You From?, The Larry Sanders Show, Over the Hedge
Garry Emmanuel Shandling (November 29, 1949 – March 24, 2016) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, director, writer, and producer. He was best known for his work in It's Garry Shandling's ...more
14
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Django Unchained, Walk the Line, Dawn of the Dead
John R. "Johnny" Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music ...more
15
Lauren Hutton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Lauren Hutton and..., American Gigolo, Once Bitten
Mary Laurence "Lauren" Hutton (born November 17, 1943) is an American model and actress. Raised in the southern United States, Hutton relocated to New York City in her early adulthood ...more
16
Rhea Perlman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Cheers, Matilda, The Sessions
Rhea Jo Perlman (born March 31, 1948) is an American actress and author, best known for her role as head-waitress Carla Tortelli on the sitcom Cheers from 1982 to 1993. Over the course of 11 ...more
17
Robert Hays is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Airplane!, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Airplane II: The Sequel
Robert Hays (born July 24, 1947) is an American actor, best known for his roles in film as pilot Ted Striker in Airplane! (also known as Flying High) and its sequel, and for his role as Robert ...more
18
Robert Wagner is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Hart to Hart, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Robert John Wagner Jr. (born February 10, 1930) is an American actor of stage, screen, and television, best known for starring in the television shows It Takes a Thief (1968–70), Switch ...more
19
Sid Caesar is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Grease, It's a Mad, Mad
Isaac Sidney Caesar (September 8, 1922 – February 12, 2014) was an American comic actor and writer, best known for two pioneering 1950s live television series: Your Show of Shows, which was a ...more
20
Ted Danson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Cheers, Saving Private Ryan, Becker
Edward Bridge Danson III (born December 29, 1947) is an American actor and producer who played the lead character Sam Malone on the NBC sitcom Cheers, Jack Holden in the films Three Men and a ...more
21
Teri Garr is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Tootsie, Dumb & Dumber
Teri Ann Garr (born December 11, 1944) is a retired American actress, singer, comedian, voice artist and dancer. She frequently appeared in comedic roles throughout her career, which spans four ...more
22
Matthew Broderick is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Lion King, Godzilla
Matthew Broderick (born March 21, 1962) is an American actor, comedian and singer. His roles include the Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of the title character in Ferris Bueller's Day Off ...more
23
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Jumanji
Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and comedian. Born in Chicago, Williams began performing stand-up comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles during ...more
24
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Newhart, The Bob Newhart Show, Elf
George Robert Newhart (born September 5, 1929) is an American stand-up comedian and actor, noted for his deadpan and slightly stammering delivery. Newhart came to prominence in 1960 when his ...more
25
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Batman Returns, L.A. Confidential
Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. (born November 17, 1944) is an American actor, director, producer, and filmmaker. He gained prominence for his portrayal of the taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma in the ...more