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The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s 

Best of SNL
Updated April 3, 2019 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.

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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

Age: 62

Birthplace: Concord, California, United States of America

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. Known for both his comedic and dramatic roles, Hanks is one of the most popular and recognizable film stars ...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

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
3
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
SCTV, Spaceballs, Planes

Age: Dec. at 44 (1950-1994)

Birthplace: Newmarket, Canada

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
4
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
The Big Lebowski, Iron Man, True Grit

Age: 69

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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
5
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Jumanji

Age: Dec. at 63 (1951-2014)

Birthplace: USA, Chicago, Illinois

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
6
John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Monsters, Inc., Roseanne
John Stephen Goodman (born June 20, 1952) is an American actor and voice artist. Early in his career, he was known for playing Dan Conner on the ABC TV series Roseanne (1988–1997; 2018), for ...more
7
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Newhart, The Bob Newhart Show, Elf

Age: 89

Birthplace: Oak Park, USA, Illinois

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
8
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Batman Returns, L.A. Confidential

Age: 74

Birthplace: USA, New Jersey, Neptune City

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
9
Jamie Lee Curtis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
True Lies, Halloween, A Fish Called Wanda

Age: 60

Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States of America

Jamie Lee Haden-Guest, Baroness Haden-Guest (née Curtis; born November 22, 1958) is an American actress, author, and activist. She made her film debut in 1978 as Laurie Strode in John ...more
10
Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Toy Story, Toy Story 3, Toy Story 2

Age: 92

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

Donald Jay Rickles (May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author, known especially for his insult comedy. His film roles included Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) ...more
11
Billy Crystal is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Monsters, Inc, Monsters University

Age: 70

Birthplace: Upper East Side, New York City, New York, United States of America

William Edward Crystal (born March 14, 1948) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, director, and television host. He gained prominence in the 1970s and 80s for television roles as ...more
12
Martin Short is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
The Martin Short Show, Frankenweenie, Mars Attacks!

Age: 68

Birthplace: Hamilton, Canada

Martin Hayter Short (born March 26, 1950) is a Canadian-American comedian, actor, voice artist, singer and writer. He is known for his work on the television programs SCTV and Saturday Night ...more
13
John Malkovich is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Empire of the Sun, Dangerous Liaisons, Being John Malkovich

Age: 65

Birthplace: Christopher, Illinois, United States of America

John Gavin Malkovich (born December 9, 1953) is an American actor, producer, and fashion designer. He received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Places in the Heart (1984) and In ...more
14
Mr. T is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
The A-Team, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Rocky III

Age: 66

Birthplace: USA, Chicago, Illinois

Mr. T (born Laurence Tureaud; May 21, 1952) is an American actor, bodyguard, television personality, and retired professional wrestler, known for his roles as B. A. Baracus in the 1980s ...more
15
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
The Porter Wagoner Show, Transamerica, Moulin Rouge!

Age: 73

Birthplace: Sevierville, Tennessee, United States of America

Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, known primarily for her ...more
16
John Lithgow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Interstellar, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Shrek

Age: 73

Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States of America

John Arthur Lithgow (born October 19, 1945) is an American actor, musician, poet, author, and singer. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including six Primetime Emmy Awards, two Tony ...more
17
Michael Keaton is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Batman, Batman Returns

Age: 67

Birthplace: Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Michael John Douglas (born September 5, 1951), known professionally as Michael Keaton, is an American actor, producer, and director. He first rose to fame for his roles on the CBS sitcoms All's ...more
18
Tim Curry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Hunt for Red October, The Wild Thornberrys

Age: 72

Birthplace: Grappenhall, United Kingdom

Timothy James Curry (born 19 April 1946) is an English actor, voice artist, comedian and singer. He is best known for working in a diverse range of theatre, film, and television, most often ...more
19
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Ben-Hur, Planet of the Apes, Touch of Evil

Age: Dec. at 85 (1923-2008)

Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States of America

Charlton Heston (born John Charles Carter; October 4, 1923 – April 5, 2008) was an American actor and political activist.As a Hollywood star, he appeared in almost 100 films over the course of ...more
20
Candice Bergen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
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
21
Drew Barrymore is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Donnie Darko, Charlie's Angels, Scream

Age: 44

Birthplace: Los Angeles, Culver City, California, United States of America

Drew Blythe Barrymore (born February 22, 1975) is an American actress, producer, director, author, model and entrepreneur. She is a member of the Barrymore family of actors, and the ...more
22
Rodney Dangerfield is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Back to School, Rover Dangerfield, Rodney Dangerfield: It's Not Easy Bein' Me

Age: Dec. at 83 (1921-2004)

Birthplace: Deer Park, New York, United States of America

Jack Roy (born Jacob Rodney Cohen, November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004), popularly known by the stage name Rodney Dangerfield, was an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice artist, producer, ...more
23
Elliott Gould is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
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
24
Joan Rivers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Fashion Police, The Joan Rivers Show, The Joan Rivers Show

Age: Dec. at 81 (1933-2014)

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

Joan Alexandra Molinsky (June 8, 1933 – September 4, 2014), known professionally as Joan Rivers, was an American comedian, actress, writer, producer, and television host. She was noted for her ...more
25
Michael Douglas is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Basic Instinct, Falling Down, The Game

Age: 74

Birthplace: New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States of America

Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer. He has received numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy ...more