In this edition of our ongoing SNL Wishlist article series, we are shifting the focus onto someone who clearly should have hosted by now: Ellen Pompeo. As a matter of fact, it’s almost inexplicable why it hasn’t happened already.
Is it true that Saturday Night Live doesn’t often give television stars their due? Sure, which does carry with it some irony given that they are one of the biggest television institutions out there. There are some logistical reasons why it doesn’t occur all that often and we get that — for someone like Pompeo, for example, the only time she can feasibly host is either A) when Grey’s Anatomy is filming an episode she’s not in (which would be hard to coordinate across different networks far in advance) or B) near the end of the season, when SNL often has on either hosts promoting their summer movies or former cast members there to help wrap up the season with a bang.
Yet, none of this excuses SNL and their omission given that Pompeo is right up there with Mariska Hargitay as one of the most recognizable and known TV actors of this generation. Yet, Hargitay has never hosted, either.
What Pompeo would bring to the show should be fairly apparent from the get-go — a lot of enthusiasm and humor. She’s delivered in a ton of comedic moments on Grey’s over the years and, beyond that, did some comedy work in television and film prior to being cast as Meredith. She’s someone who would be game to tackle some timely material on a wide array of different subjects — the best hosts are people who want to be there and contribute in any way possible and we absolutely think that she would do that 1000%.
As for the reasons NBC should want her, it goes just beyond the fact that she would be a great host. Think about things from a commercial perspective. Grey’s Anatomy fans are among the most committed out there and week in and week out and on average, 7.5 million watched live every week during season 15. If even a tenth of those viewers watched SNL who typically don’t, this would be a huge boost for the NBC show. This is without even calculating any of the people who check out Grey’s Anatomy on DVR or On-Demand. It’s been shown over time that if you are an actor with a loyal following, you can boost SNL ratings by showing up and hosting. This would also be a success for SNL all over the world, given that Pompeo is one of the most recognized actresses out there.
If the schedules could work out, getting Ellen on board at this point seems like a no-brainer — for comedy, for relevance, and for SNL reminding itself that there are exceptional TV performers worthy of an opportunity.
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