SNL Wishlist: How to make a Mariska Hargitay hosting gig happen

Saturday Night Live review - Mariska

On Friday, we put up a tweet as an reintroduction to our SNL Wishlist article series, asking readers who they wanted to see from the TV world host the show. One of the names we saw most often in response was Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay.

It’s understandable why the demand for Mariska would be there — she’s someone we’ve written about in relation to the show before, and she also happens to be very interested in hosting! It’s something that she’s discussed in the past and for one reason or another, it just hasn’t happened. That in itself is completely baffling to us. You’re talking about someone entering her 20th season on a show that is on the cusp of breaking a record that has been standing since the days of Gunsmoke. Doesn’t it make sense to get Mariska to host the show in part as a celebration of that? It’s a chance to see her in a different light and it’s a chance for NBC to celebrate one of their biggest stars. If SNL and SVU were airing on different networks, we’d probably understand the omission a little bit more. The fact that it hasn’t happened and they’re on the same network makes it a little more of a bummer.

So why hasn’t this hosting gig happened yet? The biggest reason may just be logistics. By the time SNL airs their first show of the fall, Hargitay is already well into filming her latest season of SVU — from there, there are not too many breaks (save for the holidays) until she wraps things up in the spring. Maybe there are a few episodes in May that she could be free for, but there have been times in the past in which SVU banks episodes for upcoming season. The schedules often don’t work out.

The best option to get Mariska as a host is to either do it in May, or just be super-clever with the SVU scheduling so that she doesn’t have to work too many days on set for the week or so before the episode airs. You could do that by having this week be an episode that’s heavy on another character, and then maybe also film most of Mariska’s scenes in just a day or two. This would probably need to be a collaborative effort between SVU and SNL to make it happen, and with that, they’d probably need to schedule it a good while in advance. Still, like we said, they’re both under the same umbrella. There should be a way to coordinate it and it feels like everyone would want to. It’d be a tribute to many longtime fans, and even casual SVU viewers would probably be eager to see what Mariska is like in this setting. It feels like a win for ratings, a win for fans, and a win for really television history as a whole.

Really, it feels like this is a no-brainer. Whether it be via producers simply taking note or someone starting a social-media campaign, hopefully there is a way to put this out into the universe before SNL season 44 begins.

Related Want to see some more SNL Wishlist features

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