When Donald Trump took the stage to host Saturday Night Live for the second time in the fall of 2015, he was still something of a joke presidential candidate. But it would take gallons of orange makeup smeared on Alec Baldwin’s face over the course of several seasons to wipe the bitter taste of SNL coddling Trump out of the audience’s mouths.
At the time, the cast kept fairly quiet about its distaste for Trump, waiting years to open up about how difficult it was to endure his hosting stint. But when controversial billionaire Elon Musk was announced as the host of this weekend’s episode, the cast wasn’t about to make the same mistake. A number of SNL comedians have voiced their objections, disdain, and general bafflement over the choice. The truth is, though, that over the decades, SNL has often sprung for weird, outside-the-box hosts, sometimes finding magic in even the oddest choices.
Sure, most of SNL’s past hosts weren’t as morally compromising as Trump or Musk—but there are plenty of questionable politicians and bizarre public figures in the show’s past. Sometimes those wild picks strike gold; sometimes, just sometimes, you wind up with Rudy Giuliani in a dress.
Here’s a brief history of SNL’s more surprising hosting choices, from athletes to politicians, socialites, and everything in betw