“I can’t believe I am hosting Saturday Night Live. I’m not sure many of you know that I’m 88 and a half years old,” the late Golden Girls alum said during her monologue in May 2010. “It’s great to be here for a number of reasons. You know, I’m not new to live TV. In 1952, I starred in my first live sitcom, which was Life of Elizabeth, and of course, back then we didn’t want to do it live, we just didn’t know how to tape things. So, I don’t know what this show’s excuse is.”
White’s hosting debut on the late-night series was the result of a viral Facebook campaign, which she made sure to honor during her opening, adding: “I have so many people to thank for being here but I really have to thank Facebook. When I first heard about the campaign to get me to host Saturday Night Live, I didn’t know what Facebook was. And now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.”
The Proposal star passed away in December 2021, but she was hardly the only first-time SNL host to enjoy her experience. Kim Kardashian, for her part, made headlines in October 2021 when she poked fun at several of her sisters and roasted the likes of her estranged husband, Kanye West, stepparent Caitlyn Jenner, ex-NFL player O.J. Simpson and mom Kris Jenner’s boyfriend, Corey Gamble.
“OMFG no turning back now!!!! LOL,” the Skims founder tweeted shortly after her season 47 hosting gig was announced, alongside a screenshot of the cast list. “I’m hosting SNL!!!!!!”
During the October 2021 episode, the KKW Beauty founder — who connected with cast member Pete Davidson during the taping — even joked about people who criticized the casting choice.
Other first-time hosts used their monologues to gush over their experiences as SNL viewers or as featured players.
“My last show was in 2013 and, since then, I have had two amazing children [with ex Olivia Wilde]: Otis and Daisy,” Jason Sudeikis, who was a part of the cast from 2006 to 2013, said at the start of his October 2021 show. “It’s fun to come back and be the veteran, you know? Different folks asking me for advice. Like, ‘I love working here, but what should I do next?’ Or, ‘How do I get Lorne [Michaels] to notice me?’ Stuff like that. And honestly, I found myself giving the same advice to every single person. I was just like, ‘Win an Emmy, and if you can, win two.’ That’s the best way to do it. It sets you up for success, I’ve found.”
The Ted Lasso star concluded at the time: “This place changed my life twice. Once as a cast member, as a writer here, but most importantly, as a kid watching from home. There’s a good chance that if you’re watching tonight, there’s probably something from this place that changed your life, too.”
Keep scrolling to see what the stars have thought about their SNL hosting debuts: