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The Best People Who Hosted SNL In The '80s

Updated April 3, 2019 2.3k votes 86 voters153 items

List RulesVote 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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  • Tom Hanks1
    55
    13

    Tom Hanks

    The Da Vinci Code, Forrest Gump

    Age64

    BirthplaceConcord, California, United States of America

    Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. Known for both...  more
  • Charlton Heston2
    31
    19

    Charlton Heston

    Ben-Hur, Planet of the Apes

    AgeDec. at 85 (1923-2008)

    BirthplaceEvanston, Illinois, United States of America

    Charlton Heston (born John Charles Carter; October 4, 1923 – April 5, 2008) was an American...  more
  • Steve Martin3
    23
    10

    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
  • James Woods4
    27
    20

    James Woods

    Once Upon a Time in America, Casino

    Age73

    BirthplaceVernal, Utah, United States of America

    James Howard Woods (born April 18, 1947) is an American actor, voice actor, and producer. His...  more
  • Tony Danza5
    17
    10

    Tony Danza

    Who's the Boss?, Crash

    Age69

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Tony Danza (born April 21, 1951) is an American actor, comedian, singer, television...  more
  • John Candy6
    19
    13

    John Candy

    SCTV, Spaceballs

    AgeDec. at 44 (1950-1994)

    BirthplaceNewmarket, Canada

    John Franklin Candy (October 31, 1950 – March 4, 1994) was a Canadian actor and comedian,...  more
  • Glenn Close7
    16
    10

    Glenn Close

    Dangerous Liaisons, Mars Attacks

    Age73

    BirthplaceGreenwich, Connecticut, United States of America

    Glenn Close (born March 19, 1947) is an American actress and producer. "Long considered one of...  more
  • Jamie Lee Curtis8
    15
    10

    Jamie Lee Curtis

    True Lies, Halloween

    Age61

    BirthplaceSanta Monica, California, United States of America

    Jamie Lee Haden-Guest, Baroness Haden-Guest (née Curtis; born November 22, 1958) is an...  more
  • Jeff Bridges9
    17
    13

    Jeff Bridges

    The Big Lebowski, Iron Man

    Age70

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Jeffrey Leon Bridges (born December 4, 1949) is an American actor, singer, and producer. He...  more
  • Anjelica Huston10
    12
    8

    Anjelica Huston

    The Royal Tenenbaums, The Addams Family

    Age69

    BirthplaceSanta Monica, California, United States of America

    Anjelica Huston (; born July 8, 1951) is an American actress, director, producer, author, and...  more
  • Jay Leno11
    10
    6

    Jay Leno

    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Jay Leno Show

    Age70

    BirthplaceUSA, New York, New Rochelle

    James Douglas Muir Leno (born April 28, 1950) is an American comedian, actor, writer,...  more
  • Bronson Pinchot12
    10
    6

    Bronson Pinchot

    Beverly Hills Cop, True Romance

    Age56

    BirthplaceManhattan, New York City, New York, USA

    Bronson Alcott Pinchot (born May 20, 1959) is an American actor. He is best known for playing...  more
  • Robin Williams13
    11
    8

    Robin Williams

    Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society

    AgeDec. at 63 (1951-2014)

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and comedian....  more
  • Kevin Kline14
    17
    16

    Kevin Kline

    A Fish Called Wanda, Cry Freedom

    Age72

    BirthplaceUSA, St. Louis, Missouri

    Kevin Delaney Kline (born October 24, 1947) is an American actor and singer. He has won an...  more
  • Beau Bridges15
    9
    5

    Beau Bridges

    The Descendants, Max Payne

    Age78

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA

    Lloyd Vernet "Beau" Bridges III (born December 9, 1941) is an American actor and director. He...  more
  • Valerie Bertinelli16
    9
    5

    Valerie Bertinelli

    Hot in Cleveland, One Day at a Time

    Age60

    BirthplaceWilmington, Delaware, USA

    Valerie Anne Bertinelli (born April 23, 1960) is an American actress and television...  more
  • Jerry Hall17
    15
    13

    Jerry Hall

    Batman, About Face: Supermodels Then and Now

    Age64

    BirthplaceGonzales, Texas, United States of America

    Jerry Faye Hall (born July 2, 1956) is an American model and actress....  more
  • Danny DeVito18
    13
    10

    Danny DeVito

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Batman Returns

    Age75

    BirthplaceNeptune City, New Jersey, United States of America

    Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. (born November 17, 1944) is an American actor, director, producer,...  more
  • Michael McKean19
    6
    2

    Michael McKean

    This Is Spinal Tap, Planes

    Age72

    BirthplaceNew York City, Area code 917, Contiguous United States, New York, United States of America

    Michael McKean (born October 17, 1947) is an American actor, comedian, and musician, known for...  more
  • Andie MacDowell20
    9
    6

    Andie MacDowell

    Groundhog Day, Short Cuts

    Age57

    BirthplaceGaffney, South Carolina, United States of America

    Rosalie Anderson MacDowell (born April 21, 1958) is an American actress and fashion model. She...  more
  • Billy Crystal21
    10
    7

    Billy Crystal

    Monsters, Inc

    Age72

    BirthplaceUpper 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,...  more
  • Joan Rivers22
    13
    12

    Joan Rivers

    Fashion Police, The Joan Rivers Show

    AgeDec. at 81 (1933-2014)

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    Joan Alexandra Molinsky (June 8, 1933 – September 4, 2014), known professionally as Joan...  more
  • Dolly Parton23
    13
    11

    Dolly Parton

    The Porter Wagoner Show, Transamerica

    Age74

    BirthplaceSevierville, Tennessee, United States of America

    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter,...  more
  • Ed Begley, Jr.24
    12
    10

    Ed Begley, Jr.

    St. Elsewhere, Pineapple Express

    Age71

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Edward James Begley Jr. (born September 16, 1949) is an American actor. Begley has appeared in...  more
  • Chevy Chase25
    8
    5

    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