So, I’ve had this theory for a while.
I think episodes of “Saturday Night Live” tend to be funnier when the guest host is a male celebrity in his mid-20’s to early 30’s. The SNL writing staff is predominantly male and around this age (at least in their minds) and just writes better stuff for a host that is more like themselves.
Case in point: Justin Timberlake. Zac Efron. Neil Patrick Harris. Paul Ruud. Anna Faris. (She counts as a guy.) Shia LaBeouf. Jake Gyllenhaal. They have all had incredible shows — really funny stuff.
Of course, even I look at that list and think — that’s a pretty impressive group of talent. But we’ve seen really funny people appear on SNL and suck wind. So, that’s not always a given.
And then someone like Taylor Swift appears on SNL as both the musical guest and the host. Now, I personally felt this was a huge risk. Obviously, she can sing. But who thought Taylor Swift was going to be able to hold her own as host? Has she done any kind of acting up to this point?
But she did. I thought Saturday’s show was hilarious. But a big part of that was the writing.
Taylor got the writers on her side. And she’s not a male celebrity of the appropriate age. She falls outside my hypothesis. How did she do it?
Here’s my new theory: Taylor let ’em ‘have at her.’ Gave them her personal life and let them play. No topics were off limit. And it worked.
So, then I went back and looked at the other shows that I liked from the past. Zac Efron poked fun at his own success on “High School Musical.” Neil Patrick Harris did an inspired salute to “Doogie Howser.” Jake Gyllenhaal did his opening monologue in drag.
Maybe they all were successful for the same reason: no holds barred comedy. I just didn’t notice until Saturday.
Go bunny business!