The Youngest Person to Host ‘Saturday Night Live’ Made Viewers Laugh at Age 7
Saturday Night Live has been delighting audiences with a rotating cast of hilarious comedic actors since its debut in 1975.
With 45th seasons and over 874 episodes, and counting, SNL has seen its fair share of celebrity hosts from actors, to politicians, to sports stars.
Of all of the hosts over the years, the youngest appeared in 1982 and very well may hold that spot for a long time to come.
The youngest hosts in ‘SNL’ history
In SNL‘s second year, Jodie Foster hosted at the young age of 14 after her success in the movies Taxi Driver and Bugsy Malone. Her opening monologue played on her age by featuring her reading a note from her mother that allowed her to stay up late enough to host the show.
Fred Savage, who was born the year Jodie Foster hosted, was well-known for his role on The Wonder Years and was 13 years old by the time he hosted SNL in 1990.
Savage made a splash in the episode’s cold open playing the niece to Dana Carvey’s popular character Church Lady, absolutely nailing the character’s voice, mannerisms, and facial expressions.
The second youngest SNL host in the show’s history was Macaulay Culkin of the Home Alone movies at age 11 in 1991. Even at such a young age, however, he was still four years older than the show’s all-time youngest host: Drew Barrymore.
A 7-year-old Drew Barrymore had audiences entranced
On November 20, 1982, Drew Barrymore hosted SNL‘s 7th episode of Season 8. The episode opens with the full cast standing around Drew’s dressing room, full of toys and stuffed animals, bemoaning the fact that the episode can no longer feature any sex or violence with a 7-year-old host.
Barrymore enters to audience “awws” and surprisingly joins them in the lamenting. The cast does an about-face, trying to make her feel welcomed and accommodated. Her final line, “Milk? I’m a Barrymore! Get me a drink and make it a double!” receives laughs and hearty claps from the audience.
Another sketch, entitled “The Whiners are Adopting” features Drew playing little orphan Wanda, who can’t seem to find anything nice to say, even for the sake of getting adopted.
Upon hearing from the nun that her prospective family is from New Jersey, Wanda responds, “I don’t want to live in New Jersey, it smells like cheese.”
She tries to hide a smirk throughout the whole bit, until the end, when she’s grinning from ear to ear as the happy but whiny couple, The Whiners, take her home to be their new daughter.
The audience can’t help but feel delighted that the little whiny Wanda, after years of rejection, finally finds her family.
Drew was undeniably adorable throughout the show, even in the parody of Mommy Dearest, the dark 1981 docudrama that shows Joan Crawford’s abuse towards her adoptive children.
In the sketch, Drew has made SNL cast member Tim Kazurinsky dress up as ET and is finishing up his lipstick when the mood turns and he insists she takes a nap. They end up sword fighting with their hangers yelling the movie’s most famous line: “No more wire hangers.”
Despite its dark inspiration, Drew makes the sketch light-hearted and adorable.
Drew Barrymore holds more ‘SNL’ acclaim
Not only is Drew Barrymore the youngest host in the show’s history, but with six shows behind her, she has hosted the show more than any other female, with Tina Fey and Candice Bergen just behind her at five each. Alec Baldwin holds the position for the most overall, with a whopping 17 times hosting.
Not many child actors can claim such a long and successful career. Drew has bounced back from hard times and continues showing audiences again and again that she still has the chops to play engaging and realistic characters.
She has even started her own cosmetics line, Flower Beauty. Her continued relevance has made her a favorite for cast impersonations, with at least 7 cast members imitating her since 1991. Newest cast member, Chloe Fineman, had a killer impression of Barrymore in her pocket long before being cast on SNL, so it will be no surprise if another “Drew” appears again in the near future.
Will anyone else take the title of the youngest host?
For now, it looks like the record for the youngest SNL host will remain squarely in Drew’s hands.
Though there are many young celebrities that audiences would love to see host the show, looking at you Marsai Martin and Millie Bobby Brown, most are already well into their teens and there is no upcoming younger host in sight.