TV

A Brief History Of ‘SNL’ Episodes Featuring Two Hosts

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting the Christmas episode of SNL. This, in and of itself, is reason to celebrate, but it’s also a momentous occasion; it’s the first time in 11 years that SNL has been hosted by two people. Let’s look at some of the more memorable double dippings in the sketch show’s history.

Peter Cook and Dudley Moore — Jan. 24, 1976

Here’s a fun trivia question that will impress no one at the bar: Who were the first pair of SNL hosts? That would be Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in season one, well before the latter starred in Arthur. Lorne Michaels was still trying to figure out what he wanted his show to be; this wasn’t it. Cook and Moore spend most of the episode by themselves, their British sensibilities (they were also the first non-Americans) not mixing in with the rest of the cast. SNL should book more comedy duos, though. Key & Peele would be great.

Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman — Oct. 15, 1983

Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman weren’t the first married couple to host SNL (Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss beat them by four seasons), but they’re the most charming. Their delightful energy is palpable in the monologue. The year 1983 was right when Taxi was ending and Cheers was beginning. Those are two of the greatest sitcoms of all time, so it’s a shame DeVito and especially Perlman (he’s in more sketches) weren’t given better material. Still, this episode is worth watching. Look how adorable and young they are!

Mr. T and Hulk Hogan — March 30, 1985

To promote the very first WrestleMania, famous guys-with-muscles, Mr. T and future 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain star Hulk Hogan, hosted SNL in front of a confused Studio 8H crowd. It was a weird year for the sketch series. There were only 17 episodes, due to a writer’s strike; Eddie Murphy had recently departed; and two episodes were hosted by sports announcers, Bob Uecker and Howard Cosell. Meanwhile, one episode after Pamela Sue Martin and one before Christopher Reeve, here comes a pair of wrestlers. Mr. T did an admirable job of staying in character (he was already a few seasons into The A-Team), but Hulk Hogan? Yeesh. When Billy Crystal cracks you up, you probably shouldn’t be allowed on live television. The Hulkster more than made up for his subpar hosting when he made Mr. Nanny eight years later.

Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short — Dec. 6, 1986

A week before ¡Three Amigos! premiered in theaters, introducing the insult “you son of a motherless goat” to an entire generation, its stars — Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short — hosted SNL. It was Chase’s fifth time, Steven Martin’s ninth (he’s the only comedian to host three times in a single season, something he accomplished in season three), and Short’s first. (Chase and Short were previously cast members.) The trio would once again thrust their pelvises in 2013, when Justin Timberlake joined the Five-Timers Club.

Roseanne and Tom Arnold — Feb. 22, 1992

In 1992, Roseanne was the second-highest rated show on TV. How else could you explain Lorne Michaels allowing Tom Arnold to co-host with his famous wife? This was before he starred in True Lies or even The Stupids, making him one of the least likely SNL hosts of the season (amusingly, John Goodman filled in for his Roseanne co-stars two weeks later). The Arnolds were one of two double hosts in the 1990s. The other: Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.

Neither are still together.

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey — Jan. 17, 2004

Future bad pop-culture historians will talk of a time when Jessica Simpson, she of The Dukes of Hazzard fame, and Nick Lachey, he of being married to Jessica Simpson infamy, were super popular. MTV’s voyeuristic Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica spawned a catchphrase (“I know it’s tuna, but it says Chicken by the Sea”) and somehow lasted 41 episodes. It also made the celebrity couple famous enough to be deemed SNL host-worthy. Watching the two of them, particularly Jessica, mug their way through one tepid sketch after another is as painful as listening to 98 Degrees. Justin Timberlake, they ain’t.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen — May 15, 2004

Before there was Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Sisters, there was Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, actual sisters. SNL typically books a huge name or beloved regular for its season finale (Mick Jagger and Andy Samberg come to mind). In 2004, Lorne got the Olsen twins, with musical guest J-Kwon. That was the same year Mary-Kate and Ashley starred in New York Minute, their final film before they became leaders of a fashion empire. Maybe SNL can get their former co-star, Dave Coulier, when Fuller House premieres? (There’s a better chance the Olsens re-make Switching Goals than Joey Gladstone hosting SNL.)

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