In the space between Parks and Recreation ending its much-adored seven-year run last spring and the release of co-star Aziz Ansari's Emmy-nominated Netflix series, Master of None, the performer also released a book and a comedy special. Few could argue persuasively against Ansari having earned the cultural honor of hosting SNL, being relevant enough at the time, or being up to the task. He did not host in November. (Or before, or since.) Want to know who did host Saturday Night Live last November? Donald Trump. It was during this episode that I tweeted this exasperated head-shaking at Aziz's absence. Perhaps this year, it will finally happen. Some others on Twitter tend to think so, too.
Yesterday night, whoever runs Saturday Night Live's Twitter account solicited suggestions for the forthcoming season's hosts. It is highly unlikely that the show's booker and Lorne Michaels spent the night studiously poring over the responses and cribbing notes, but who knows. Maybe they are desperate to shake things up. While last season served up the typical slew of movie and TV stars with new projects, returning cast members, A-list musicians pulling double-duty, and the odd sports figure—and Donald Trump, for some reason—maybe this time around there will be more risks. Maybe this time, we'll get some unexpected fresh blood like Rachel Bloom or Constance Wu in the mix. But maybe not. Either way, we're almost certainly getting Lin-Manuel Miranda, completing the victory lap of his Conquering the World tour.
Below are some other potential hosts suggested and seconded by Twitter users. Some are obvious, some are implausible, and others are incisive and right on the money. Tweet at Co.Create if you have some unexpected picks of your own.
- Lin-Manuel Miranda, 12 votes
Likelihood: Almost definite. No more prominent entertainer out there right now. He's this year's Amy Schumer and then some.
- Laura Benanti, 12 votes
Likelihood: Dismal. Benanti is a multitalented performer and a hoot to follow on Twitter, and would probably kill it on SNL (especially as Melania Trump), but she would also be a rather left-field pick. The only reason she got so many votes here is that she juked the numbers by alerting her adoring fanbase to the SNL tweet.
- Kristen Wiig, 7 votes
Likelihood: Fairly high. She hasn't hosted since 2013 and she's always got some new project coming out.
- Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon as a duo, 7 votes.
Likelihood: Maybe. These two also hosted as a duo in 2013, and while it seems unlikely that they'd both be back together, a new Justin Timberlake album may be on the horizon and Jimmy Fallon seems perennially up for hosting.
- Gillian Anderson, 7 votes
Likelihood: Dismal. She would be great, but last spring's return of The X-Files would have been the moment.
- Mindy Kaling, 5 votes
Likelihood: Maybe. She's certainly deserving and capable, and The Mindy Project is starting a new season soon.
- The "Final Five" U.S. Women's Gymnastics Olympic Team, 4 votes
Likelihood: Dismal. While it's highly probable that these amazing athletes will make an appearance, a 5-way hosting gig split between nonperformers would be unwieldy, to say the least.
- Tatiana Maslany, 4 votes
Likelihood: Maybe. She's funny in interviews and Orphan Black has proven popular. But is it popular enough?
- Aziz Ansari, 4 votes
Likelihood: Fairly high. Dude is owed at this point. It's kind of embarrassing that he hasn't hosted yet. If he wins an Emmy, even more likely.
- Emma Stone, 4 votes
Likelihood: Likely. She's hosted before and she will again.
- Seth Meyers, 3 votes
Likelihood: Likely. He would fulfill the quotient of recently liberated cast members.
- Rachel Bloom 3 votes
Likelihood: Maybe. I mean, we'd certainly like to see it!
- Constance Wu, 3 votes
Likelihood: Maybe. It would be unexpected, but she might surprise the suits with how many viewers she brought in. Fresh Off The Boat costar Randall Park would also be a smart pick.
- Debra Messing, 3 votes
Likelihood: Dismal. The Mysteries of Laura die-hards will have to wait.
- Miley Cyrus, 3 votes
Likelihood: Maybe. She just hosted last season and really only has the Woody Allen Amazon series Crisis in Six Scenes on the horizon (no new album). But who knows?
- Tom Hanks, 3 votes
Likelihood: Highly likely. He's one of the best hosts ever, and he's got Sully and Inferno coming out soon.