We’re just at the beginning of watching tonight’s SNL. The opening sketch was something special, particularly if you like politics. It’s a well-used guest appearance by a certain forer presidential candidate. (And hey, the musical guest is Paul Simon… who was the guest host when they had a brief appearance by then-candidate Paul Simon. Coincidence, or all part of the musician’s master plan?)
The guest host is Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a bit surprising because she has spoken quite poorly of her time as a cast member (although the host is apparently always treated quite sweetly, something which was not always true of female cast members.) And in her monologue, she said that she was the first female ex-cast member to host, confirming something I said earlier:
And that leads to something Iâ€™ve been thinking about lately: over the years, plenty of SNL vets return there in some form. Sometimes they have movies coming out and guest-host episodes. Other times, they pop up on a show for no apparent reason. Generally, itâ€™s good to see them. (Occasionally, I wonder if theyâ€™re doing it just to maintain union status; Iâ€™ve heard of guest spots on other programs arranged to maintain some actorâ€™s health insurance eligibility.) But one thing struck me the other day: I can list probably dozens of such appearances by male SNLers, going back to Bill Murrayâ€™s hosting an episode for the first post-original cast, and continuing up to this yearâ€™s appearances by Mike Myers, Tim Meadows, and Tracy. And yet, I can only think of one female cast member to return – Jan Hooks used to show up when they needed a Hilary Clinton. It may well be that Iâ€™m forgetting some, but even given how unsatisfied some of the female performers felt about their involvement in that show, it still leaves one wondering why there is less of a female return. (Or maybe itâ€™s just that the female cast members never hit it as big in the movies and such as the most notable males, and thus are less likely to be brought in for hosting?)
Often the guest hostings by old cast members are particularly good. It would be nice if they took an anniversary year and treated it as old home year, having a returning-cast guest host every other week, particularly someone who hasn’t done so before. I’d be real happy to see Jane Curtin, say, host an episode.