Saturday Night Live is one of the most popular late night sketch comedy and variety shows that ever existed.
In the past, Saturday Night Live played host to some of the most famous comedians to ever perform. Beginning in the late 1970s, the show immediately attracted attention due to its obscenities and odd humor.
Saturday Night Live has been a jumping off point for many famous comedians such as Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Seth Myers, Kristen Wiig and many more.
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Still running with no signs of slowing down, Saturday Night Live attracts hosts of all sizes, shapes and colors. Throughout the years, many professional athletes have played host to the popular late night television show.
Typically, when we see athletes on the field, they exhibit a very serious demeanor with no time for laughs and jokes.
But when they grab hold of the microphone, placed in front of the band on the main stage, the pro athletes really get to show the world a different side of themselves.
Some of these professional athletes seem to shine in the spotlight. But others make viewers cringe at their painfully awful jokes and lack of a stage presence.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a handful of athletes have hosted SNL throughout the years. But only one athlete has hosted the show three times.
That athlete is Charles Barkley, a former NBA star who played for the Phoenix Suns, the Houston Rockets and the Philadelphia 76ers, according to NBA.com.
Barkley is known for his sometimes outspoken commentary on the popular TNT NBA pregame show. According to the Chiacgo Sun Times, Barkley was featured as the host of Saturday Night Live on Jan. 7, 2012, Jan 9., 2010 and Sept. 25, 1993.
BleacherReport.com gave the former NBA star an A-rating following his most recent performance on Jan. 7, 2012.
One of my all-time favorite athletes hosting Saturday Night Live has to be Eli Manning. For someone who seems to be so soft spoken and unintelligent in front of the press, he really put on a wonderful show on May 5, 2012.
Manning performed in one of my favorite SNL skits of this past season, “Text Message Evidence.” In this skit, Eli Manning plays a man on trial for murder. While sitting on the stand, Manning admits that he could not have committed the murder because he was “sexting” at the time the murder occurred.
During his skit, his prosecuting attorney (played by Ed Helms) asked Manning to imitate a smiley face that he sent to the girl he was “sexting.” Manning’s imitation of the face (;-P ) was so terrific, that I actually liked him for a second.
Another famous athlete that hosted the popular late-night sketch comedy show is Michael Phelps. Phelps is an Olympic swimmer who holds the record for the most medals won by an American at the Olympics, with 22 medals (18 gold medals).
Phelps had the crowd in fits of laughter during his infamous “Michael Phelps Diet “ skit. Phelps played himself while talking to the crowd about his fictitious 12,000 calorie per day diet that helped him win eight gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Although this skit was another personal favorite of mine, the rest of his show was weak, to say the least.
BleacherReport.com said of Phelps’ performance, “After his performance at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, swimmer Michael Phelps had built up plenty of capital with the American public. Which was a good thing, because he lost a large chunk of it just a month later when he hosted the season premiere of SNL.”
The popular sports blogging site gave him an F+ for his overall performance at Saturday Night Live.
Many people have been able to serve as host for one of arguably the best shows on television, SNL.
I, personally, thoroughly enjoy anytime that an athlete heads the comedy hour up. I think it’s important for fans to see another side of their favorite athletes. And even if you don’t like an athlete, you can’t help but laugh at their foolish performances on Saturday Night Live.
Michelle Berthiaume can be contacted at email@example.com