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SNL: 5 Potential hosts for season 42

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Season 42 of the hit late night comedy show Saturday Night Live will be hitting television screens across the country within a matter of weeks. This season has had some roster turnover, with Jay Pharoah, Taran Killam and Jon Rudnitsky all gone from the roster. But despite those departures, they will still be going live from Studio 8H in New York City.

With a new city comes the question that comes along every year: Who will be hosting episodes this season? Most hosts are actors or actresses who have a big movie or television show coming out within a week or two. Sometimes it is a musical artist who is dropping a new album or going on a big tour. And every so often it can be an athlete who just won the World Series or Super Bowl.

So who will Season 42 bring to the table? Here are five potential candidates to host SNL!

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch is set to star in the title role of Doctor Strange later this year when it hits theaters on November 4th. Cumberbatch would be new to the gig, as he has never hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live before. But now is a perfect time.

With a blockbuster set to hit in early November, Cumberbatch is in a prime spot to make a Saturday night his own. He is an actor with a broad range of talents, and his versatility as an actor is tremendous. He can portray characters who are serious, humorous, villainous, smug or any other adjective you can think of. He can have a dry sense of humor in his roles at times, while also being capable of putting on a laughing show.

One of his best and most iconic roles came in the form of Alan Turing in the hit film The Imitation Game. This was an incredibly complex character, and Cumberbatch nailed it to a tee. This gives me all the confidence in the world that he can pull off anything SNL throws at him. That role also provided plenty of moments that made audiences laugh, and not because the film was a comedy, but rather because of the way Cumberbatch’s character was so smug and positive he was better than everyone else.

The time is now for Cumberbatch to get a shot at hosting SNL.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake also has a film set to come out on November 4th, in the form of the animated Trolls. Timberlake is an SNL veteran, having hosted the show five times already, plus times as the musical guest and a handful of cameos. The last time Timberlake hosted was back in 2013 when he was the host and musical guest.

But now Timberlake has a reason to come back to host with Trolls set to be a big film come November. If he does not end up hosting, his fellow co-stars Anna Kendrick, Zooey Deschanel or James Corden have the potential  to take on the role. But Timberlake is gold anytime he is on Saturday Night Live, so he will clearly be Lorne Michaels’ top choice from this bunch.

Rightfully so. Timberlake and former cast member Andy Samberg have made some of the greatest SNL digital shorts in the show’s history and another hosting gig for JT means it is entirely possible we get a new one. If another member of the Trolls cast ends up hosting, Timberlake could still be the musical guest, and this possibility could still be a reality as well.

But a hosting role means more of Timberlake performing skits, and he is great in that role. So here is to hoping he comes back for round number six in 2016.

Billy Bob Thornton

On November 23rd, Billy Bob Thornton returns to the big screen in the form of Willie, the worst Santa around in Bad Santa 2. It just so happens the next day is Thanksgiving, which means the Saturday before will likely be the Thanksgiving episode of SNL.

So why not have the man playing the lead role in a major holiday film host the Thanksgiving episode? Thornton had hosted one episode before, all the way back in 2001, in what happened to be the Thanksgiving episode of season 27. It just seems like the perfect time for Billy Bob back for a second go around.

There is no question that Thornton has the comedic chops for the role. He knows how to nail a performance to get laughs, and is the perfect fit for the show. You do not need to look any further than his role Bad Santa. When you play a mall Santa with a drinking problem, who is also a big-time thief, comedy runs through your veins. Especially when you nail it like Thornton did back in 2003, and will again this year.

Plus think of how funny it would be to have his character of Willie, all decked out in his Santa suit, show up to an SNL Thanksgiving dinner. There is too much potential in this pairing to let it slip away. Let’s bring back Billy Bob for his second hosting role on Saturday Night Live.

Wentworth Miller

In early 2017, the hit shows Prison Break is set to return to the small screen. With such a big time following, the show is set to garner a ton of buzz when it comes close to its premiere date, which has not been officially announced. So why not have the show’s star, Michael Scofield host an episode of Saturday Night Live.

For those who have not seen the show, Scofield is played by actor Wentworth Miller, and it is a brilliant performance. He is the type of character you cheer for week in and week out. Miller also plays Leonard Snart across a bunch of the CW’s hit shows, including Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash and Arrow. So Miller is set to be on television screens a lot in 2017.

So let’s add one more role to his list. Obviously, that role would be as the host of an episode of SNL. Miller is a tremendous actor, who is capable of playing the fan favorite, or the bad guy. He is also able to turn that bad guy role into a character that you feel sympathy for, and begin to cheer on as well. So it is evident he is an actor with tremendous range, and SNL would give him some extra attention from some fans who may not have seen any of his best work.

Miller has never hosted SNL, and it is time to change that. Saturday Night Live would not disappoint with an appearance from Michael Scofield/Captain Cold/Wentworth Miller.

Chris Pratt

Back in 2014, Pratt made his SNL debut to help promote Guardians of the Galaxy. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 set to hit theaters on May 5, 2017, now seems like a great chance to make Chris Pratt a two-time host. The film is going to be one of the first blockbusters of the year and having its biggest star host SNL will only add fuel to the film.

Pratt is very hilarious in everything he does. He can make an audience laugh doing just about anything, and is gifted with comedic genes. Parks and Recreation is where his star was born, and he has been providing laughter left and right ever since then.

So why not bring in a big name actor who is known for being a funnyman, who also has the experience of hosting before? There is no reason too. His first appearance had some great moments, and another go around will only provide more laughs.

Star-Lord needs to go live on Saturday Night from New York. It just needs to happen.

When it comes to hosting SNL, options are endless. But when considering possible candidates, one needs to factor in if an actor or musician has anything to promote. Not many will take on the gig with nothing to promote, as the platform gives them extra advertising. And all of these men have that extra motivation.

All five men have the comedic chops to put on a successful show on the late night sketch show. Some even have the experience of hosting the show in the past. If nothing else, at least can we get a digital short music video with Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg!

Who do you want to see hosting an episode of SNL during season 42? Tell us in the comments!

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com