Entertainment The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s  

Best of SNL
984 votes 69 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
38 4
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 "Tom" Hanks is an American film actor, director, voice-over artist, writer and film producer. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies before achieving ...more
2
12 4
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 "Steve" Martin is an American comedian, actor, musician, writer, and producer. Martin came to public notice as a writer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and later ...more
3
11 5
John Candy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
SCTV, Spaceballs, Planes
John Franklin Candy was a Canadian actor and comedian. Candy rose to fame as a member of the Toronto branch of The Second City and its related Second City Television series and through his ...more
4
9 5
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
Jeffrey Leon "Jeff" Bridges is an American actor, singer, and producer. He comes from a well-known acting family and began his televised acting in 1958 as a child with his father, ...more
5
7 3
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Newhart, The Bob Newhart Show, Elf
George Robert "Bob" Newhart is an American stand-up comedian and actor. Noted for his deadpan and slightly stammering delivery, Newhart came to prominence in the 1960s when his album ...more
6
7 3
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 6 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 "Danny" DeVito, Jr. is an American actor, producer and director. He first gained prominence for his portrayal of taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma on Taxi, for which he won ...more
7
11 8
John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Monsters, Inc., Roseanne
John Stephen Goodman is an American actor who is known for his comedic and dramatic roles. Early in his career, he was best known for playing Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne, for ...more
8
8 5
Don Rickles is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Toy Story, Toy Story 3, Toy Story 2
Donald Jay "Don" Rickles (May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017) was an American stand-up comedian and actor. A frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, he acted in comedic and ...more
9
7 4
Billy Crystal is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Monsters, Inc, Monsters University
William Edward "Billy" Crystal is an American actor, singer, writer, producer, director, comedian, and television host. He gained prominence in the 1970s for playing Jodie Dallas on ...more
10
7 4
Martin Short is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
The Martin Short Show, Frankenweenie, Mars Attacks!
Martin Hayter Short, CM is an Canadian-American actor, comedian, writer, singer and producer. He is best known for his comedy work, particularly on the TV programs SCTV and Saturday Night Live. ...more
11
6 3
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Jumanji
Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy ...more
12
8 6
John Lithgow is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Interstellar, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Shrek
John Arthur Lithgow is an American actor, musician, and author. Lithgow has received acclaim and many accolades in his career including two Tony Awards, five Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe ...more
13
8 6
Jamie Lee Curtis is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
True Lies, Halloween, A Fish Called Wanda
Jamie Lee Curtis, Lady Haden-Guest is an American actress and author. She made her film debut in 1978 by starring as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter's Halloween. A big hit, the film established ...more
14
8 6
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
The Porter Wagoner Show, Transamerica, Moulin Rouge!
Dolly Rebecca Parton is an American singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, actress, author, and philanthropist, known primarily for her work in country music. Her career began as a child performer ...more
15
6 4
John Malkovich is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Empire of the Sun, Dangerous Liaisons, Being John Malkovich
John Gavin Malkovich is an American actor, director, producer, and fashion designer. He has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. For his roles in Places in the Heart and In the Line of ...more
16
6 4
Mr. T is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
The A-Team, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Rocky III
Mr. T is an American actor known for his roles as B. A. Baracus in the 1980s television series The A-Team, as boxer Clubber Lang in the 1982 film Rocky III, and for his appearances as a ...more
17
4 2
Candice Bergen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Murphy Brown, Gandhi, Miss Congeniality
Candice Patricia Bergen is an American actress and former fashion model. For her role as the title character on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown, she won five Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards ...more
18
8 7
Michael Keaton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Batman, Batman Returns
Michael John Douglas, better known by his stage name Michael Keaton, is an American actor, producer, director and comedian. He is currently a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University. ...more
19
8 7
Tim Curry is listed (or ranked) 19 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
Timothy James "Tim" Curry is an English actor, singer, and composer, known for his work in a diverse range of theatre, film, and television productions, often portraying villainous ...more
20
6 5
Drew Barrymore is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Donnie Darko, Charlie's Angels, Scream
Drew Blyth Barrymore is an American actress, model, producer, director and author. She is a descendant of the Barrymore family of well-known American stage and cinema actors, and is a ...more
21
6 5
Rodney Dangerfield is listed (or ranked) 21 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
Rodney Dangerfield was an American comedian and actor, known for the catchphrase "I don't get no respect!" and his monologues on that theme. He is also remembered for his 1980s film ...more
22
5 4
Joan Rivers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Fashion Police, The Joan Rivers Show, The Joan Rivers Show
Joan Alexandra Molinsky, known as Joan Rivers, was an American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and television host noted for her often controversial comedic persona — where she was ...more
23
5 4
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
Elliott Gould is an American actor. He began acting in Hollywood films during the 1960s, and has remained prolific ever since. In addition to his performance in the classic comedy Bob & ...more
24
5 4
Michael Douglas is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Basic Instinct, Falling Down, The Game
Michael Kirk Douglas is an American actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. He has won four Golden Globes, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award, two Academy Awards—as producer of ...more
25
5 4
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s
Alien, Aliens, Alien³
Sigourney Weaver is an American actress and film producer, known for playing Ellen Ripley in the Alien franchise. Following her film debut as a minor character in Annie Hall, Weaver quickly came ...more