Scarlett Johansson on the Hardest Part Of Hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’

Hosting Saturday Night Live is no easy feat. 

Scarlett Johansson has hosted the iconic comedy show better known as SNL on five occasions and will make it six on Dec. 14, 2019. The 35-year-old Avengers: Endgame actress is set to host SNL with former member of One Direction, Niall Horan, who will make his first appearance as a solo musical guest, according to Deadline. 

She first hosted SNL on Jan. 14, 2006, then came again the following year on April 21, 2007, according to Fandom. She returned three years later to host an episode on Nov. 13, 2010, then hosted yet again on May 2, 2015, and once more on March 11, 2017. 

Scarlett Johansson on Saturday Night Live as Black Widow in 2015
Scarlett Johansson on Saturday Night Live as Black Widow in May 2015 | Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Scarlett Johansson says hardest part of hosting ‘SNL’ is ‘stamina that it requires’

In a YouTube video for Vanity Fair published on Nov. 26, 2019, Johansson — who is also on the cover of the publication’s Holiday 2019/2020 Awards Extra! — explained that hosting SNL is extremely difficult but not for the reasons one might expect. Forget about the fact that it’s is a live show or that the host has to hold their own opposite comedians who are fulltime cast members. 

For Johansson, hosting SNL is difficult because of everything that comes along with it. Being the host entails much more than delivering during a live taping after a few rehearsals. It requires an intense week of work leading up to the show. 

“I think the most challenging part of hosting SNL really is the stamina that it requires because that week of work is so intense between whatever pieces you have to learn, whether it’s a song or doing like a digital short or whatever other kind of pre-tape you have to do,” Johansson said in the video.  

There’s all kinds of stuff the host has to do throughout the week to prepare for Saturday night.

“Fittings, promo stuff, the monologue. It’s so much work for the host and you’re pulled in every different direction, and everyone needs you all the time,” she said before adding, “That is the most challenging thing.”

Hosting ‘SNL’ is among the ‘most rewarding experiences’ in her career

Despite the incredible amount of stamina hosting SNL requires, for Johansson, the work leading up to the show itself is all worth it because of the euphoric feelings she and the rest of the cast get after it’s over. 

“It’s probably, like, one of the singular most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my career because when the show is good, the vibe, the buzz everyone is feeling afterward is pretty exciting,” she said in the video. “It’s really fun.”

Not only does Johansson enjoy hosting for the aforementioned “buzz” but she likes working together with the cast. 

“You get to work with all these fantastic performers and comedians,” she said. “When you’re having a great show, they’re also having a great show. You know, it’s just a wonderful collaborative feeling.” 

Johansson certainly has a good time hosting SNL because she’s part of the show’s five-timers club which includes the likes of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Candice Bergen, Ben Affleck, and Justin Timberlake to name a few. 

During her appearances on SNL, Johansson’s done impressions of Ivanka Trump, Melissa Sander, Patti Stanger, and Rosario Dawson. She’s also played the role of Lexi, a character she’ll likely reprise during her Dec. 2019 episode.

SNL is also the place where Johansson met her now-fiancé, Colin Jost. They met when she hosted the show for the first time during which Jost had been a new writer.

Currently, Johansson stars in Noah Baumbach’s, Marriage Story, and Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit.