Why has it taken this long for Saturday Night Live to get this week's host on board? That's right, it's true: Elizabeth Banks has never hosted SNL before, despite working in comedy since at least 2001. It seems the show has always latched onto one of her co-stars instead of her. Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, and even Josh Hutcherson — who was in possibly my favorite sketch ever — have hosted the show to promote The Hunger Games. Anna Kendrick hosted to promote Pitch Perfect. Seth Rogen did it when the two of them co-starred in Zack and Miri Make a Porno. The list goes on and on.
But, it's finally — finally! — Banks' turn to host the show on Nov. 14. And, sure, the ratings probably won't be as high as they'd be if she were just some generic blowhard running for president like her immediate predecessor. But, while the Trump episode of SNL was a deadly combination of boring but not bad enough to be a trainwreck, I'm betting that Banks' episode will actually be funny. Here's why she'll totally kill her SNL gig, and why the show should've booked her much sooner than it did.
1. She Has A Long History Of Comedy
And, to be frank, a lot of the comedy she's done is actually much funnier than SNL. I'm sure that, if you cut your comedy teeth with the people behind Wet Hot American Summer — one of Banks' first movie gigs, and a role she made even better with Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp this year — you pick up a thing or two about wringing the most laughs possible out of a situation. Forget summer camp; that's sketch comedy boot camp.
2. She's Take-Charge
One of the most exciting things about Banks is that she's one of the few comedic actresses to pursue — and actually land — more directing jobs. She directed (the amazing) Pitch Perfect 2 and is signed on to do the third. That's cool in and of itself, because she showed that, contrary to popular Hollywood stereotype, a woman can direct a big, summer movie that makes a ton of money. But, directing comedy means that she was responsible for making the movie funny, so she has another tool in her arsenal to bring to SNL. When did Hutcherson ever direct anything?
3. She's Not Afraid to Look Silly
Sometimes, the problem with SNL hosts is that they want to be game, but they don't really want to be the butt of any jokes. (Not to keep comparing Banks to Trump, but I think that was a huge issue with the Trump episode. He'd only submit to the mildest of jokes at his expense, so it was a weak 90 minutes.) Banks isn't afraid to play crazy — remember her sex-crazed role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin? — so she won't back down from whatever weird ideas the SNL crew will throw at her if they're funny.
4. She Can Do Characters
Banks is currently the voice of Moonbeam City's Pizzaz, the police chief and laser heiress of an alternate-reality town designed to look like a Patrick Nagel design come to life. If she can sell the premise to that show, she can pretty much sell any SNL sketch.
5. Don't Forget About Her Impressions
Well, maybe this won't help so much.
6. Effie Trinket
First off, Effie knows comedy, too. Did anyone notice that she had the best lines in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1? But, I'm also sure SNL can do something amazing with those crazy Trinket costumes. I hope Kate McKinnon is ready.
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