Television’s long-running sketch series “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) will return for season 44 on September 29. In the many years it’s been on-air, “SNL” has invited a sum total of TWO hosts who are of South Asian descent and both hosted last year: Aziz Ansari helmed the show in January 2017, while Kumail Nanjiani took the stage last October.
Besides the need to continue to rectify the lack of a South Asian presence on what is perhaps the most iconic comedy show in the world, it’s important to also remember that as a franchise that lampoons current events, a South Asian host can offer a unique and vital take on the news.
In their monologues last year, both Ansari and Nanjiani spoke about Trump, racism, Islamophobia. Now more than ever, it’s important to hear from artists of South Asian descent and to get their perspective on world affairs. This applies to their writer’s room, as well. At the moment, they have only one person of South Asian descent, comedian Nimesh Patel.
Who should be #SNLhost?
Let us know in the replies ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/xkObJhBWWd
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) August 27, 2018
This year, SNL asked audiences who they would like to see host the show in 2018-2019. We think it’s time they double down on some South Asian diversity. Here are our picks:
Frankly, I still don’t understand how Kaling hasn’t hosted the show. She starred in, wrote for, and produced “The Mindy Project” for six years, wrote and starred in a little show called “The Office.” Clearly, she has the comedic chops to carry the show seamlessly. She’s already starred in two big screen hits, “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Ocean’s 8” in 2018 so hopefully this will be her year to take on the famed SNL stage.
What better way to promote his upcoming Netflix talk show “Patriot Act” than to host SNL? Minhaj has already proven his comedic talent as a correspondent of “The Daily Show” and with his Netflix stand-up special. As an SNL host, he’ll get to dive deep into sketch comedy and did we already mention he’s getting his own talk show on Netflix?
France forms one of the five “Queer Eye” cast members and let’s face it, all of them are currently enjoying a huge fan following and for good reason. I bet all of those fans will follow him (and his stunning ensembles) to the SNL episode he hosts. There will be enough sass to last us until SNL season 45. We wouldn’t complain if the rest of the Fab Five want to show up for a cameo.
Jamil has been on a quite a roll recently, and she’s even a member of the NBC family! Her series “The Good Place” is probably one of the most beloved primetime comedies right now and it is critically acclaimed to boot. Beyond that, though, she has taken up the mantle of social vigilante through her social movement I Weigh. She is giving a platform to women and encouraging them to weigh their accomplishments and not their weight. Maybe, as an SNL host, she’ll get the platform to spread her message.
Pinto has really climbed the charts and found her place in Hollywood since the success of “Slumdog Millionaire.” Most recently, she starred in the gritty human trafficking-themed drama “Love Sonia” and she has “Mowgli” coming up. While these movies are serious, we know Pinto can do comedy well. Look no further than her appearances on “Koffee with Karan” or “The Mindy Project.” We’d love for her to expand on those skills as an SNL host.
During her short time in Hollywood, Chopra has successfully charmed her way into the hearts of American audiences. “Quantico” may be cancelled but she’s just starting out. Her next film, “Cowboy Ninja Viking,” is opposite Chris Pratt (mention Parks and Rec). She would make a great SNL host, you know, with all that charm and wit. And lest we forget, ‘Priyanka Chopra with musical guest Nick Jonas‘ has a nice ring to it.
Singh has come a long way from being solely a YouTube star. She’s got an immense following, all of whom will follow her journey as an SNL host. Her collaborations vary from Chopra to Gina Rodriguez to Dwayne Johnson to Michelle Obama. Clearly, girl’s got reach. Her videos and vlogs also prove she’s a seriously funny comedian and has all the skills to be a great SNL host and do well in the sketches. She can even perform as one of her own different characters she uses in her YouTube sketches!
Ahmed would be an ideal host. He’s got “Venom” coming out in October. He can talk about his new BBC show “Englistaan.” Ahmed, who won an Emmy for “The Night Of” in 2017, has been vocal about current affairs. As a host, he can infuse politics, humor, pop culture and do it all in a British accent. What more could we want?
The Oscar-nominated actor is currently basking in TIFF glory. Two of his upcoming films premiered to rave reviews; “The Wedding Guest” and “Hotel Mumbai.” Plus, he’s shown he can be comedic in his role in the HBO drama “The Newsroom.” We think he’d make a delightful SNL host.