Jake Gyllenhaal & 8 Other Actors Who Went All In On SNL

NBC's Saturday Night Live recently wrapped another season and is about to experience a huge change due to some major cast members departing. In that time, there have been hosts ranging from Steven Seagal to Steve Martin, some completely out of their element and others fully in their groove.

Whether they've hosted once, twice, or 12 times, some actors seem as though they're as tailor-made for sketch comedy as they are Oscar-nominated films. In the end, SNL can be a showcase for talented performers to show their range in ways audiences haven't yet seen, and the results can be very exciting.

The versatile Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the best actors of his generation, but he seldom goes for a project in the comedy genre. However, he showed on SNL (especially his second time hosting) that he's as willing to go far for comedy as he is for drama.

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His 2022 episode's highlight was probably "Tombstone," which was a play on the film of the same name and featured Gyllenhaal in Val Kilmer's role of the dying Doc Holliday. Gyllenhaal completely threw himself into his performance, which made it even more hilarious.

The Afterparty star Tiffany Haddish has thus far only hosted SNL once, in 2017, but there's an argument to be made that she should host once each season.

There wasn't much in Haddish's episode that was subpar. In fact, several of her sketches were outright classics, e.g. her "Whiskers R' We" entry with Kate McKinnon and the pre-taped piece "The Dolphin Who Learned to Speak," where Haddish played a researcher disgusted with the hands-on tactics of her coworkers, played by McKinnon and Aidy Bryant, an SNL cast member with many Instagram followers.

Like other beloved hosts, Bridesmaids' Melissa McCarthy has joined SNL's cherished "Five-Timers Club." Her first time was in 2011, not long after the release of her zeitgeist-capturing theatrical comedy with SNL alum Kristen Wiig, and since that time she's crafted some of the show's most iconic recent characters.

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Most notably, McCarthy's appearances as Sean Spicer are rewatchable gold that haven't lost value even since the end of that particular administration, much less Spicer's brief role in it.

Like Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin is a longtime member of SNL's "Five-Timers Club," and his status as one of the show's most frequent hosts would hold strong even if he hadn't made innumerable guest appearances in recent years.

Baldwin has hosted the show 17 times, joining the Five-Timers Club all the way back in 1994. While he's starred in older, classic sketches like "Canteen Boy," Baldwin's greatest claim to SNL fame is his recurring role during the 2016-2020 seasons.

Member of the "Five-Timers Club" Justin Timberlake has appeared on SNL several times even outside of his five times hosting. His most noticeable contributions to the sketch comedy show's history have come in the form of collaborations with Andy Samberg of The Lonely Island.

The shorts "D*** in a Box" and "Motherlover" are not only some of the best pre-taped segments in the show's history, but also two genuinely great songs. Furthermore, "Immigrant Tale" (also with Samberg) is a sketch that shows just how far Timberlake will go to riff on his own persona, and it also signifies just how perfect the actor/singer is for the show.

John Goodman has hosted Saturday Night Live a whopping 13 times, which makes sense considering the A-list actor started out in comedy with Roseanne.

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Goodman actually auditioned for SNL, but the spot went to fan-favorite Joe Piscopo. Regardless, the O Brother, Where Art Thou? star is a staple and most recently hosted in 2013. Throughout those appearances, Goodman has thrown himself into every sketch, even when he wasn't serving as host, e.g. recurring appearances in the '90s as Linda Tripp, the woman who uncovered the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.

Tom Hanks got his start in comedy, which is arguably the most difficult genre to perform in, yet he's gone on to diversify his portfolio to an astounding degree.

Even still, Hanks can't resist some comedy, so he's been an SNL stalwart host for years, not unlike Baldwin and Goodman. However, what sets the Big actor apart from those two is David S. Pumpkins, one of Hanks' greatest characters. Introduced in 2016, Pumpkins has already become a timeless classic to many fans of the sketch comedy series.

As one of the most frequently-appearing SNL hosts, Christopher Walken has seven separate episodes filled with sketches, and he didn't pull his punches for any of them.

Each of his increasingly creepy "The Continental" sketches features a fully in-character Walken as a pseudo-classy, robe-adorned man who can't take no for an answer. With his vocal mannerisms and hideous fake mustache, Walken turns a detestable person into a memorably hilarious one with perfect pronunciation of the word champagne. There's also "Colonel Angus," a hilarious sketch that again dresses the actor in ridiculous clothing. But undoubtedly Walken's most famous sketch, and perhaps the most famous in SNL history, is the instantly-iconic "More Cowbell."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Adam Driver has hosted SNL three times, once during Season 41, once during Season 44, and most recently during Season 45.

Each of his appearances has produced at least one memorable sketch, e.g. the Season 41 sketch "Star Wars Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base." While that parody would be followed up by a Season 45 sketch, it's his "Career Day" in Season 43 that showed the most commitment any actor has ever shown in an SNL sketch, and it's some of the best work of Driver's extremely impressive career.

NEXT: The Best SNL Sketches Of 2021



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