Saturday Night Live wishlist: Why Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU should host


There are certainly times when we watch Saturday Night Live, a name is announced as the host of the next episode, and immediate we have one reaction: How has this person not hosted before? There’s a similar reaction that we have with the subject of this article. Mariska Hargitay should host SNL, and it should have happened a long time ago. Honestly, it’s a shocker that it hasn’t. You are speaking here about one of the most iconic TV stars and characters of all time, and it’s someone who is already on NBC and already films in New York.

So what happened here? Did someone cast a hex that keeps the Law & Order: SVU star from setting foot into Studio 8H? It’s certainly a mystery, but one that we do very much hope is rectified for a number of different reasons.

There’s certainly enthusiasm for her to do the show

For one, we get the sense that it’s something that Mariska would love to do. This is what she had to say on the subject to E! News several years back:

“I did want [to host] for a long time. You know, if I do it, great. If I don’t, I’m fine. It’s such a compliment that my coworkers even think that I would be worthy enough.”

Hargitay is referring here to a campaign that her co-star Ice-T led at one point to get her on board the show as a host. She also claimed at the time of that interview that her personality was well-suited for the show, and we’ve definitely seen her in interviews have the sense of humor and spontaneity needed in order to go on stage and deliver. It’d be fun to see her do something completely lighthearted and silly, virtually the opposite of Olivia Benson the majority of the time.

There are clear reasons, beyond just humor, for her to do the show

As we mentioned earlier, it’s NBC! Why wouldn’t they want to promote one of their own? SVU is their #3 drama this season in adults 18-49 (live+same day), and more than that, Mariska is a household name thanks to years of new episodes and syndicated repeats. We know that one of the bigger concerns out there with getting TV stars to host the show is that they wouldn’t attract a mainstream audience. That’s not so much the case here. More people in America are likely familiar with both Hargitay and her character than almost anyone else on TV.

Beyond just ratings, the gig should be considered as a means to further promote the Joyful Heart Foundation. With this new administration lacking a champion to fight domestic violence like a Joe Biden, this is a time where we need to raise awareness of unspeakable crimes to better work to find solutions and initiatives. Even just a mention of the foundation and their work during an SNL episode would go a long way, especially if you can get a Biden cameo in there.

Could it happen?

We’ve written several articles in this SNL Wishlist series talking about other potential hosts, and at times, we’ve been a little more doubtful. This time, we’re hopeful over the possibility. Maybe if SVU hits season 20 (which seems very well possible), you could get her on board to help commemorate the occasion. The big concern here is of course scheduling, given that she films the series at the same time that most new episodes of the sketch show are in production. You’d either need to know of the gig far in advance to give her a lighter work week on SVU, or you’d have to do it in the spring after production for new episodes is over. (There are times when SVU does bank an episode or two for next season after filming the current one, so even that has to be considered.)

If you agree that Mariska Hargitay should host SNL, let us know in the comments! (Photo: NBC.)

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