Friday, January 8, 2010

Our Top 5: Potential SNL Hosts

This Saturday, basketball legend Charles Barkley will be hosting late-night mainstay Saturday Night Live. Yes, he's this season's token sports-related host. This is his second time hosting - he also had the honour back in 1993, when he was relevant. (Seriously. When's the last time Charles Barkley made news? A year ago when he got busted for speeding, and told the cop he was chasing after a, um, lady of the evening? Apparently he was recently on The Jay Leno Show, but that's the opposite of news. Other than that, all I hear about is Kenan Thompson's impersonation of him on... SNL. So by these criteria, Kathie Lee Gifford will probably host the season finale. Oh joy.)

I don't think a hockey player has been SNL's appointed athlete host of the season since Wayne Gretzky in 1989... I've never seen the episode but apparently I'm not missing much. I started thinking... who in the NHL today would make a decent Saturday Night Live host? And thus a new feature (maybe, if you guys like it) was born...

The Hab It Her Way Top 5!

Today's list: 
(in no particular order)
Top 5 Hockey Players Who Might Not Totally Screw Up As Host of SNL

Alex Ovechkin: It's not just any athlete that gets to host SNL. The chosen athletic host of the season is usually a pretty big deal. Ovechkin is the biggest name in hockey and the most exciting player in the NHL by far. He's famous, successful, and skillful, and he loves attention. He's actually an awful lot like LeBron James, who was a pretty good host. Ovie would have fun hosting SNL. He'd be game for anything and that's good news since athletes don't have much acting experience. His accent might get in the way of playing a wide variety of characters, but again, he's not an actor so whatever. And if you're worried about his mastery of the English language, I'll just remind you that Paris Hilton has hosted the show.
Sketch suggestion: He'd probably have fun pretending to breakdance or something during a "What's Up With That" sketch... they seem to be quite popular these days. Or I see him as a guest on "Rivista Della Televisione" ripping on Vinny Vedecci in Russian.

Mike Green is a good guy and he's got presence on camera, as proven by his random Geico commercial. (If you think it's bad then you clearly don't watch enough TV.) He gets points for likeability, and he's somewhat well-known outside of hockey since he plays for the Caps - not, like, the St. Louis Blues, and visibility is pretty important.
Sketch suggestion: In my head, Mike Green has mad rap skills. He'd be Andy Samberg's new best friend... Okay, that's probably not true, much as I might wish it were. He's got a very sweet, everyman quality about him, so I think he'd have fun getting annoyed by Kristen Wiig's irritating character Sue who can't keep good news to herself.

Hal Gill is funny. Many of his teammates have attested to it. Anyone who's seen his ode to Randy Johnson knows it. I figured I couldn't make my first Top 5 without putting a Hab on the list, and I think #75 would be my go-to guy. Carey may have been on Cabbie, and Gomez might have real acting experience, but when it comes to comedy you've got to go big or go home. I'm going with Gill.
Sketch suggestion: He could play Gilly's dad or something (bad name pun!), thus putting an end to the insanely repetitive Gilly sketches. Sorry.

Like Mike Green, Jarome Iginla has personality and charisma. He's quite at ease on camera, as we've seen in commercials, and his NHL Award acceptance speeches are generally good. Why does this matter, you ask? Jarome may be more serious and gracious in his speeches, but the audience pays attention. Often people who can work the room at an awards show do very well on SNL... don't believe me? What if I dropped names like Tina Fey, Justin Timberlake, and 14-time host Alec Baldwin? Or 15-time host Steve Martin, who's been on the show so often and left such an impression on viewers that most people think he was actually a cast member? So yeah, Jarome should do okay. If he doesn't, he's patient enough to shake it off and make the best of things.
Sketch suggestion: If "Bronx Beat" were still on SNL, Jarome would probably have fun laughing at Maya Rudolph while she alternately called him cute and got all emotional about her kids.

Tim Thomas appears to be quite beloved by his American fans, probably because he's good at what he does (hurts to admit that) and because he's basically a Bruce Springsteen song on skates. The network would LOVE him: an award-winning American-born goalie playing for an Original Six team in the States, who just braved the Winter Classic and is going to the Olympics (this winter on NBC!). But why, do you ask, would a Habs fan want to see her rival goalie spend 90 minutes on her favourite show? Yes, I know, it's total sacrilege. Well, Thomas basically cemented his spot on this list with one sentence:

Warning: huge Tim Thomas face in HD comin' at ya
It was meant as a joke, and came out unbelievably funny but in a terribly mean way. He can probably handle comedy.
Sketch suggestion: I'm not really sure why, but I think nothing would be funnier than seeing the massive goaltender in drag. Make it happen, NBC.

I'm giving an honourable mention to Jeremy Roenick, who retired so he doesn't count as an "NHL player" anymore, but let's face it. He likes attention, he likes entertaining people, and he likes talking. A lot. If he were to ever find out that SNL might be interested in calling on a hockey player to host, he'd probably move in to Studio 8H.

**pictures and video don't belong to me, obviously, except for that little header bar i constructed from pictures that don't belong to me. this is only my top 5, and we might go for a "she said, she said" thing so top 5 actually means top 10 since there are two of us!

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