Can we just talk about how stacked the Will Forte draft class of Saturday Night Live was in retrospect? Apart from Forte, viewers were going to get a steady Saturday diet of Sudeikis, Wiig, Armisen, Samberg, Seth Meyers, and Bill Hader, while John Mulaney scribbled notes from offstage to bust up Hader. Throw the still-thriving Kenan Thompson in the mix and it’s got to be in anybody’s top five casts of all time.
Which makes it a bummer for Forte that he is the last of that group to get asked to host SNL. Putting on a brave face for his monologue, Forte unsuccessfully attempted to gloss over that fact, gradually letting loose his resentment that every single one of those former coworkers got the call before he did. (Wiig and Hader twice, and Mulaney four freakin’ times, even though, as Forte railed, he was just a writer!) Still, as Forte gathered himself, it was just a thrill to be asked at all—at least until producer Lorne Michaels popped up in the audience to claim that an autocorrect mistake led him to accidentally invite Forte instead of next week’s host whose name begins with “Will.”
Again, no matter—after all, Will Forte’s gone on to not only front The Last Man On Earth and revive onetime SNL mainstay MacGruber for both a feature film and a brand new Peacock series. So there’s nothing to complain about—except when Kristen Wiig swanned up onstage behind him, to rapturous audience welcome. Shooing the moment-hogging Wiig away, Forte complained that, when he performed a similar cameo during (one of) Wiig’s hosting stints, “I was polite enough to get less applause than her.”
After a deep breath, Forte continued, promising that he was ready for his big moment of returning Saturday Night Live glory—and is that the band playing him off? Well, at least Forte could take solace from the audience poll showing him coming in fourth in a “Who should host?” contest (behind Dafoe, Wiig, musical guest Måneskin, and tied with “Abandon show, bring back Tom Hanks”).