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

Updated April 3, 2019 2.2k votes 87 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
  • Steve Martin2
    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 Woods3
    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
  • John Candy4
    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
  • Louis Gossett, Jr.5
    16
    9

    Louis Gossett, Jr.

    Enemy Mine, Half-Life 2

    Age84

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Louis Cameron Gossett Jr. (born May 27, 1936) is an American actor. He is best known for his...  more
  • Joan Rivers6
    13
    6

    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
  • 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
  • Bob Newhart10
    11
    6

    Bob Newhart

    Newhart, The Bob Newhart Show

    Age91

    BirthplaceOak Park, Illinois, United States of America

    George Robert Newhart (born September 5, 1929) is an American stand-up comedian and actor,...  more
  • Stevie Wonder11
    9
    4

    Stevie Wonder

    Silver Linings Playbook, Die Hard

    Age70

    BirthplaceSaginaw, Michigan, United States of America

    Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950), better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is...  more
  • Jay Leno12
    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 Pinchot13
    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 Williams14
    11
    8

    Robin Williams

    Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society

    AgeDec. at 63 (1951-2014)

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, USA

    Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and comedian....  more
  • Danny DeVito15
    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
  • Leslie Nielsen16
    8
    4

    Leslie Nielsen

    The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear

    AgeDec. at 84 (1926-2010)

    BirthplaceRegina, Canada

    Leslie William Nielsen (11 February 1926 – 28 November 2010) was a Canadian actor, comedian,...  more
  • Michael McKean17
    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
  • Billy Crystal18
    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
  • Dolly Parton19
    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
  • Chevy Chase20
    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
  • Lily Tomlin21
    8
    5

    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
  • Bruce Willis22
    6
    4

    Bruce Willis

    The Sixth Sense, Die Hard

    Age65

    BirthplaceIdar-Oberstein, West Germany

    Walter Bruce Willis (born March 19, 1955) is an American actor, producer, and singer. Born to...  more
  • Chris Evert23
    6
    5

    Chris Evert

    Celebration, A Century of Women

    Age65

    BirthplaceFort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America

    Christine Marie Evert (born December 21, 1954), known as Chris Evert Lloyd from 1979 to 1987,...  more
  • Elliott Gould24
    10
    10

    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
  • Michael Douglas25
    10
    10

    Michael Douglas

    Basic Instinct, Falling Down

    Age76

    BirthplaceNew Brunswick, New Jersey, United States of America

    Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer. He has...  more