All 33 athletes who have hosted 'Saturday Night Live' over the last 46 seasons

Travis Kelce rests his hands on his collar while looking off to the side during a Chiefs game.
Travis Kelce.Lachlan Cunningham/AP Images
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  • Usually, "Saturday Night Live" is hosted by an actor or comedian, or sometimes a musician.

  • But every so often, a brave athlete will try their hand at live sketch comedy at Studio 8H.

  • Travis Kelce will be the latest to give it a go on March 4, 2023.

The first athlete to ever host "Saturday Night Live" was Fran Tarkenton on January 29, 1977, while he was playing for the Minnesota Vikings.

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John Belushi and Fran Tarkenton during the "Community Appeal" skit on January 29, 1977.NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Tarkenton hosted during the second season of the show, with musical guests Leo Sayer and Donny Harper. The famed quarterback appeared on the show just 10 days after his team lost to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XI.

On February 25, 1978, controversial former football pro OJ Simpson became the second athlete to host "Saturday Night Live."

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OJ Simpson during the monologue on February 25, 1978.NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Simpson can be seen here wearing one of the famous Coneheads. He appeared on the episode alongside musical guest Ashford and Simpson.

Legendary basketball player Bill Russell hosted on November 3, 1979.

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Bill Russell on the "SNL" stage on November 3, 1979.NBCUniversal

Russell's episode aired during season five of the show, and he was accompanied by musical guest Chicago.

Football coaching icon John Madden made his way to Studio 8H on January 30, 1982.

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John Madden as himself during the "Bengal's Locker Room" skit on January 30, 1982.NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

During this time, Madden was working as a sportscaster for NFL games — clearly, hosting was in his wheelhouse. The musical guest for this season seven episode was Jennifer Holliday.

Former baseball player, Milwaukee Brewers announcer, and occasional actor Bob Uecker took on hosting duties during the October 13, 1984, episode.

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Bob Uecker during the monologue on October 13, 1984.Reggie Lewis/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Uecker has been the announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers for the past 50 years, as well as making frequent appearances as "Mr. Baseball" on "The Tonight Show" under Johnny Carson's tenure. He also starred on "Mr. Belvedere" for over 100 episodes.

Uecker was joined by Peter Wolf as the musical guest in this season 10 episode.

Former NFL defensive tackle and actor Alex Karras hosted on February 2, 1985.

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Alex Karras during the monologue on February 2, 1985.Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Karras appeared 15 years after he retired from the NFL in 1970. He was smack in the middle of his starring role on the sitcom "Webster," in which he played a retired football player who took in his godson, Webster, after his parents died.

The musical guest in this season 10 episode was none other than the queen herself, Tina Turner.

Pro wrestlers Mr. T and Hulk Hogan co-hosted on March 30, 1985.

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Mr. T and Hulk Hogan during the monologue on March 30, 1985.Alan Singer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Season 10 was filled to the brim with athletic hosts, including two of the most famous professional wrestlers of all time, Mr. T and Hulk Hogan, on the night before the very first WrestleMania took place on March 31, 1985, at Madison Square Garden.

The wrestlers were joined by The Commodores in season 10, episode 16.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler, one of the greatest middleweight boxers of all time, showed off his comedic chops on May 17, 1986. He co-hosted with journalist Jimmy Breslin.

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Marvelous Marvin Hagler during the "Knockout Tips" skit on May 17, 1986.RM Lewis Jr./NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Hagler hosted the show two months after what was his most recent victory (and what turned out to be his last career win ever) against John Mugabi, a silver medalist from Uganda.

Breslin and Hagler were joined by musical guests Level 42 and E.G. Daily.

Beloved Yankees manager Billy Martin co-hosted the season 11 finale with Anjelica Huston on May 24, 1986.

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Billy Martin and Jon Lovitz as Mephistopheles during the "Tempting Billy" skit on May 24, 1986.Alan Singer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

"SNL" loves paying homage to its New York heritage, as evidenced by the 11th season finale, which saw beloved former Yankee second baseman and frequently fired manager host the show, alongside Huston.

In the episode's final moments, "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels "fires" Martin for drinking on the job, and Martin retaliates by setting the dressing rooms on fire, prompting the message "Who will survive? Tune in October 11" to flash across the screen, poking fun at the dramatic soap opera cliffhangers that were popular at the time.

Huston and Martin's episode included George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic as musical guests.


Football stars Joe Montana and Walter Payton co-hosted an episode that aired the night before the Super Bowl, on January 24, 1987.

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Walter Payton and Joe Montana during the "Church Chat" skit on January 24, 1987.R.M. Lewis Jr./NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Payton, one of the most beloved football players of all time — he was known as "Sweetness" around the NFL — had just finished the last season of his 13-year career when he hosted the ninth episode of season 12 alongside Montana.

Montana, not to be outdone, had two Super Bowl wins under his belt (and would go on to win two more).

Payton and Montana, and the rest of the audience, were regaled by the sounds of Debbie Harry as musical guest.

Carl Weathers was a professional athlete before he pivoted to acting — he played football for five years. He hosted "SNL" on January 30, 1988.

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Carl Weathers during the monologue.Al Levine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Weathers is now known, of course, for his role as Apollo Creed in the "Rocky" movies, as well as for playing Greef Karga in "The Mandalorian." But before that, he played professional football for five years with the Oakland Raiders and the BC Lions (of the Canadian League).

He hosted the January 30, 1988, episode as part of the promo tour for his February 1988 film, "Action Jackson," and was also fresh off his part in "Predator" as Dillon.

The musical guest for season 13, episode 10, was Robbie Robertson.


Wayne Gretzky, arguably the most famous hockey player of all time, hosted on May 13, 1989.

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Wayne Gretzky during the monologue rehearsal on May 13, 1989.Raymond Bonar/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Gretzky appeared as the "SNL" host in May 1989, right after his first season on the Los Angeles Kings had concluded — his first season playing for an American team.

Gretzky was joined by Fine Young Cannibals, of "She Drives Me Crazy" fame.

Tennis player Chris Evert was the first female athlete to host the show. She hosted on November 11, 1989.

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Chris Evert during the monologue on November 11, 1989.Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Evert appeared on the show just one month after she had retired from professional tennis on October 9 after 18 Grand Slam singles titles.

That season 15 episode also starred the Eurythmics as the musical guest.

Michael Jordan took his turn on the 30 Rock stage on September 28, 1991, just a few months after winning his first NBA championship.

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Host Michael Jordan during the monologue on September 28, 1991.Raymond Bonar/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won their first NBA championship on June 12, 1991 — then Jordan took his talents to NYC for the premiere of season 17 in September. Jordan was joined by musical guest Public Enemy.

Charles Barkley has hosted "SNL" four times, most recently on March 3, 2018.

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Charles Barkley during the monologue in Studio 8H on March 3, 2018.Will Heath/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

The 11-time NBA All-Star hosted for the first time during the season 19 premiere on September 25, 1993 — the same year he was voted the NBA's overall MVP. The episode's musical guest was Nirvana.

He returned almost two decades later on January 9, 2010, during season 35. It was the first episode to air in the 2010s, and Alicia Keys was musical guest.

Barkley returned two years later for the 11th episode of season 37, this time accompanied by Kelly Clarkson, on January 7, 2012. Earlier that day, he was a guest commentator for the NFL Wild Card playoffs, which is taped next-door to "SNL."

His fourth appearance on the show was March 3, 2018, during season 43, and he was joined by musical guest Migos.

Nancy Kerrigan hosted "SNL" on March 12, 1994, a few weeks after she won a silver medal at the Olympics and two months after the brutal attack in Detroit.

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Host Nancy Kerrigan during the monologue on March 12, 1994.Alan Singer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Kerrigan hosted "SNL" after earning a silver medal in figure skating at the 1994 Olympics in February. It also came after a few less-than-stellar media gaffes, including complaining about participating in a Disney World parade and dissing gold medalist Oksana Baiul.

Kerrigan hosted the 15th episode of season 19, which boasted Aretha Franklin as musical guest.

Boxer George Foreman made his "SNL" debut on December 17, 1994, two months after he became the oldest fighter ever to win a World Championship.

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George Foreman during the monologue on December 17, 1994.Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

At 45 years old, Foreman became the oldest fighter to ever win a World Championship when he bested Michael Moorer on November 5, 1994. The next month, he headed over to Studio 8H to try his hand at hosting "SNL," accompanied by musical guest Hole, during the ninth episode of season 20.

One month after he won his first Super Bowl, Deion Sanders hosted "SNL" on February 18, 1995.

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Deoin Sanders on "SNL."NBCUniversal

At the time, Sanders was a cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers. He earned his first Super Bowl ring on January 29, 1995. Only a few weeks later, he made the cross-country trip to Manhattan and hosted this season 20 episode, with musical guest Bon Jovi.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has hosted five times: March 18, 2000, April 13, 2002, March 7, 2009, March 28, 2015, and May 20, 2017.

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Dwayne Johnson during the opening monologue in Studio 8H on May 20, 2017.Will Heath/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Johnson is more well-known for his acting career than his wrestling one at this point, but when he made his "SNL" debut in 2000 with musical guest AC/DC, he was still credited as The Rock and was fully entrenched in WWF fighting.

The next time he appeared, in 2002, he had made his feature film debut in "The Mummy Returns," and he was there to promote his first leading role in April 2002's "The Scorpion King," with musical guest Andrew W.K.

Johnson returned seven years later with musical guest Ray LaMontagne in 2009 to promote "Race to Witch Mountain." He made another hosting appearance in 2015 in season 40 with musical guest George Ezra — this time, for his role in "Furious 7."

Most recently, he joined the Five-Timers Club in 2017, hosting the season 42 finale accompanied by Katy Perry, promoting none other than "Baywatch."

New York superhero and one of the most famous Yankees of all time, Derek Jeter, hosted on December 1, 2001.

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Derek Jeter and Seth Meyers during "Weekend Update" on December 1, 2001.Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Though the Yankees lost the World Series that year, Jeter was still a local hero to many New Yorkers that season, especially after the devastating effect that 9/11 had on the city and the country. The 2001 World Series was the first professional sports championship that was played after the attack.

The baseball player brought the laughs, alongside musical guests Shakira and Bubba Sparxxx in season 27, episode seven.

Jonny Moseley, a famed freestyle skier, hosted the post-Olympics show on March 2, 2002.

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Host Jonny Moseley during the monologue on March 2, 2002.Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Though Moseley just missed medaling at the 2002 games, (he placed fourth) he had earned a gold medal in 1998, and he'd made a name for himself as the first skier to medal in both the X Games and the Olympics — he's been named one of the most influential skiers ever.

He hosted episode 13 of season 27, with musical guest Outkast.

NASCAR icon Jeff Gordon traded the track for the stage on January 11, 2003.

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Jeff Gordon during the monologue on January 11, 2003.Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Gordon appeared as the "SNL" host smack in the middle of his illustrious racing career — he'd already won the Daytona 500 twice and the Winston Cup four times.

In perhaps the most 2003 episode of "SNL" ever, Gordon was accompanied by musical guest Avril Lavigne, who performed her hit, "Complicated."

The reigning US Open Tennis champion Andy Roddick hosted "SNL" on November 8, 2003.

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Andy Roddick and Finesse Mitchell as Andre 3000 during the monologue on November 8, 2003.Mary Ellen Matthews/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Roddick earned his one and only Grand Slam title in September 2003, a few weeks prior to his hosting gig. He was joined in this season 29 episode by Dave Matthews & Friends, and his fellow tennis pro John McEnroe, who made multiple cameos throughout the episode.

Of course, McEnroe is known to a whole new generation as the beloved narrator of "Never Have I Ever."

Tom Brady was fresh off his third Super Bowl win when he hosted the April 16, 2005, episode of "SNL."

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Tom Brady during the monologue on April 16, 2005.Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Brady was well on his way to cementing his GOAT status in football, but, in classic Brady fashion, he just had to take it a step further by trying out a whole new skill: sketch comedy. The quarterback had just won his third Super Bowl in February 2005 against the Philadelphia Eagles when he hosted the 17th episode of season 30.

Brady was joined by musical guest Beck.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong hosted an episode on October 29, 2005, while his fiancée Sheryl Crow was the musical guest.

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Seth Meyers and Lance Armstrong during the "Celebrity Ironman" skit on October 29, 2005.Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

During the fourth episode of 31, "SNL" essentially became a date night for Armstrong and Crow who, at the time, were one of the biggest celebrity couples. They split the following year.

Armstrong was pegged to host the show after winning the Tour de France in July, his seventh win and his final race before his (first) retirement. This win would later be stripped after Armstrong's doping controversy in 2012.

Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning hosted an episode on his 31st birthday, March 24, 2007.

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Peyton Manning during the monologue on March 24, 2007.Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

He was also the newly crowned Super Bowl MVP — just a few weeks before, his team, the Indianapolis Colts, had beaten the Chicago Bears in February.

The football legend was not only joined by musical guest Carrie Underwood, but also by his brothers Eli and Cooper, his father Archie, and his mother Olivia to wish him a happy birthday later on in the show.

LeBron James was not yet the basketball powerhouse we all know him to be when he hosted on September 29, 2007.

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LeBron James on "SNL" on September 29, 2007.NBCUniversal

Well, technically, James had been the All-Star Game MVP in 2006 before he took his talents to 30 Rockefeller Plaza to host the season 33 premiere on September 29, 2007, but he didn't yet have his four NBA championship titles.

The future "Space Jam: A New Legacy" star was joined by musical guest Kanye West.

For the second year in a row, an athlete hosted the season premiere, as Michael Phelps hosted the season 34 premiere on September 13, 2008.

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Phelps during the monologue in the season 34 premiere on September 13, 2008.NBCUniversal

Phelps was one month off his record-breaking performance at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing where he won eight gold medals. During his appearance on the show, he was joined by some all-star cameos — famously, Tina Fey as Sarah Palin for the first time.

In fact, this was the episode when she proclaimed she could see Russia from her house.

The episode's musical guest was Lil Wayne.

Five years after his older brother hosted, Giants quarterback Eli Manning took on hosting duties on May 5, 2012.

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Eli Manning on May 5, 2012.Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Also like his brother, Manning hosted the sketch show during season 37 after he won the Super Bowl, this time in February 2012 against the New England Patriots. As "SNL" is filmed in New York, having the Giants quarterback in the studio to host was a real hometown hero moment — and his Giants teammates Chris Snee, David Baas, David Diehl, and Shaun O'Hara joined in on the fun.

The musical guest was equally, if not more iconic: Rihanna.

Ronda Rousey became the first female wrestler to host "SNL" when she appeared in Studio 8H on January 23, 2016.

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Ronda Rousey during the monologue on January 23, 2016.Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Rousey hosted the 11th episode of season 41, a few months after she had fought the infamous match against Holly Holm, which resulted in Rousey leaving UFC for over a year — and, on a more positive note, a few months after she had been named the best female athlete of all time by ESPN.

Rousey was joined by musical guest Selena Gomez.

John Cena became the second wrestler host of 2016 when he tried out hosting during the December 10 episode.

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Host John Cena on December 6, 2016.Rosalind O'Connor/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Cena had a very busy 2016 — he began appearing on the reality series "Total Bellas" alongside then-girlfriend Nikki Bella, hosted the reality competition "American Grit," hosted the 2016 ESPY Awards, and then capped it off with "SNL," all while appearing at WWE events.

The wrestler was joined by Maren Morris as musical guest.

The last athlete to give it a go was NFL star JJ Watt, who appeared on the February 1, 2020, episode.

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Host JJ Watt during the monologue on February 1, 2020.Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

In one of the final in-studio episodes of season 45, Watt, then a defensive end for the Houston Texans, hosted the show alongside musical guest Luke Combs.

Newly minted Super Bowl champ Travis Kelce will host on March 4, 2023.

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Travis Kelce attends the 2022 ESPYs at Dolby Theatre on July 20, 2022.Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Kelce, a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, will host the episode with musical guest Kelsea Ballerini.

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