SNL Viewers Demand More Non-Famous Hosts

The fact that relatively non-famous person Charlie Day got to host SNL this weekend was surprising — even to Charlie Day. He kicked off his monologue with, “I know that Don Pardo just said it, but I think it’s important to confirm that I’m actually hosting Saturday Night Live. This is happening.” In terms of pure comedy chops, Day — who has been an underrated manic force on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (and dare we say, one of the funniest people on TV) for seven seasons — was certainly qualified to host SNL. But the reason Day got the gig presumably had more to do with the fact he recently graduated to the big screen, with scene-stealing work in Going the Distance and Horrible Bosses. Still: Charlie’s not famous-famous, and SNL was probably only willing to accommodate a star of such low wattage because Day is (as we believe we’ve effectively communicated?) goddamn hilarious. So here’s the surprising part: Day’s episode was SNL’s highest-rated in over a month.

The only recent SNL episode to rate higher than Day’s? The October 1 one hosted by Melissa McCarthy — another relatively non-famous person! McCarthy certainly had a bigger breakout this year than Day — she won an Emmy and starred in Bridesmaids — but the two are generally in the same boat when it comes to name recognition. And somehow, some way, people tuned in. So is Sunny‘s fanbase bigger than we realized? Did everybody just watch on Saturday to see musical guest Maroon 5? Whatever the reason, it’s nice to see that booking funny people, regardless of fame, worked out for SNL. We hope the trend continues.

Filed Under: Melissa Mccarthy, Saturday Night Live, SNL, Television

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad