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SNL Throwback: The 5 Best Hosts of Season 41

Welcome to a new segment here on the TV Ratings Guide, SNL Throwback (because the name SNL Vintage was taken). This segment will feature SNL episodes of the past that match the episode's theme. This week, I'll take on SNL Season 41, a solid season of SNL with some notable bumps in the road. Here's the 5 best hosts of the season, plus a few honorable mentions.


5) Fred Armisen
Choosing an SNL cast member or experienced host to close the season is always smart. Armies has been missed on the SNL stage, and it was great to see him back. It was also nice to see other old SNL cast members join him. I also loved the Harkin Brothers sketch, and it was a nice way to close the show.
Grade: B+
MVP: Kate McKinnon and Fred Armisen (tie)
Sketch of the Night: The Harkin Brothers

4) Tracy Morgan
I was so happy to see Tracy Morgan back on SNL. He was sorely missed, and it was great to see him after his accident. His episode was really good, and I loved seeing some of his old sketches return. Plus, the 30 Rock reunion was amazing.
Grade: A-
MVP: Tracy Morgan
Sketch of the Night: Brian Fellows (mostly for nostalgia)

3) Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy: The Person that's hosted 4 1/16 times. She's a reliably funny host who's down for pretty much anything. I's no wonder why she's been nominated for 4 Emmys. Hopefully she'll join the 5 Timers Club sooner rather than later.
Grade: A-
MVP: Melissa McCarthy
Sketch of the Night: Cold Open: Pick-Up Artist

2) Tina Fey & Amy Poehler
Tina Fey is always a reliable host. And Amy Poehler was great in her previous hosting gig. But I wasn't sure how the episode would be, because sometimes things go wrong. Fey's fifth hosting gig (and Poehler's second) was virtually flawless, and in a normal season would probably have been the best of the year, but this one is just a bit short.
Grade: A
MVP: Tina Fey
Sketch of the Night: Meet Your Second Wife

1) Donald Trump
I'm just messing with you. This might possibly have been the worst episode of SNL ever. I honestly think the writers gave up with this one. In the words of our POTUS-to-be: SAD!
Grade: F
MVP: People that did not tune in.
Sketch of the Night: The Commercials

And now for the real #1...
1) Ariana Grande
The hands-down best episode of the season (maybe of the 2010s) was hosted by Ariana Grande. This episode was so amazing. The cold open was probably the weak link of the episode, and even that was top-notch. Ariana Grande needs to get back to SNL and host right now, because something has gone horribly wrong this season, and we need a great host. Grande was great.

Grade: A+
MVP: Ariana Grande
Sketch of the Night: Everything but the Cold Open

Honorable Mentions:

Bernie Sanders Larry David:
This episode almost made the top 5, but just missed. It was really, really good. The segment with the real Bernie Sanders was fun, and Bern Your Enthusiasm may be the best political sketch of the 2016 cycle.
Grade: B+
MVP: Larry David
Sketch of the Night: Bern Your Enthusiasm

Julia Louis-Dreyfus:
This was a good episode, it just didn't make the cut. I laughed at a lot of these sketches. But, unlike the other shows on this list, this one had a few duds. The good moments mostly make up for the bad, though.
Grade: B
MVP: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Sketch of the Night: New Mercedes

Final Thoughts:
Notice a theme with all of my top picks? All but one are accomplished comedians, and all but one have been SNL cast members or SNL writers. But even Ariana Grande, who seems to be the odd woman out in the group, starred on a sitcom. I've come to the conclusion that SNL is truly at it's best when comedians host the show, because they've done comedy before, and they're good at it.